Is your business in the current social media cycle? If not, then you seriously need to think about changing that.
Here’s the reality and the truth … Social Media is NOT a fad. It has done nothing but grow in use and popularity since its inception. And now, in 2012, people are going beyond blogging and beyond simply posting photos and videos and are embracing new devices and experiences in the social media world.
Everything from the cloud and niche social sites to social TV and social shopping are the new frontiers.
McCann Worldgroup’s Chief Innovation Officer says:
“We will see the growing trends in which consumers expand their social media usage to more and across devices where they embrace the new social media experience as their primary source of content and in-depth community interaction.”
Social Media Today noted two emerging trends this year: Transmedia and Micro-Economy. Transmedia is:
“. . .telling a story by using surrounding context to determine the meaning for a participant.”
For example, Coca-Cola created an amusement park where guests swiped a wristband at kiosks located within the park that instantly upload to Facebook what they were doing, where they were doing it and how they were enjoying it.
Micro-Economy is where goods and services are brought forth on smaller scales with a bent towards personalization. This trend opens up opportunities to individual entrepreneurs who do not possess the manufacturing and distribution resources of the conventional companies. Pinterest, a social media site, is a virtual pin-board that allows users to organize and share all the things they love on the web.
Businesses must embrace these tools to stay relevant in today’s ever-expanding social world.
Here are 4 social media practices for business that can boost your results:
1) Use the social platforms in tandem: If you are an avid blogger, push out your material on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter so you are reaching all of your available audiences. Build Reach. Social dashboard tools are getting more popular allowing you to develop content, keep track of trending topics and manage your social profile all in one place.
2) Use the platforms where your customers live and engage: Do the research. Find out what social media tools your customers are using and reach them there. Just because something emerges and is hot doesn’t mean you should be or need to be on it. Use what works for you and your customer, converts them and gives you an ROI.
3) Evaluate, review, reapply: Like any other marketing tool, test the waters. If you find your efforts are not hitting the mark, try a new approach. Keep trying and testing, and look at what your competitors are having success doing.
4) Keep your information and content fresh and up to date: If you want to grow your community and business and you want people to consistently come back to and refer your sites than keep them interesting and fresh!
Here are some resources to help you do that:
- TechCrunch: A web publication that offers the latest tech news and analysis as well as profiling start-ups and new products.
- Social Media Examiner: An online social media magazine designed to help businesses discover how to best use social media tools to connect with customers, generate more brand awareness and increase sales.
- SocialMedia.biz: Helping businesses become social.
- “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and more) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business:” by Ann Handley and CC Chapman
- “Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust:” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
And Seth Godin has written more than a dozen bestsellers that will get you on the right social media marketing track.
One more resource I recommend is John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing blog. John delivers smart, common sense and thoughtful marketing information for any small business. He suggests using “whatever converts and get’s you closer to your customer.”
Where are you in the social media marketing cycle for your business? How have they helped you boost your business?
Social Media Connection Photo via Shutterstock