A few years ago, a site appeared called MySpace.com. I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now. MySpace quickly became a place where people could go, create a personal page for free, then connect with old and new friends alike. These people they connected to are called “friends.” You could have as many friends as you wanted. Before long, it became a Mecca for musicians and artists to create pages and attract fans. They’d invite their friends to become fans of their page by becoming a friend, and those friends would invite friends. New bands that had never been heard of before MySpace started selling albums and getting record deals.
From that idea, other social networking sites emerged, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Additionally other sites began to incorporate social features into their sites with YouTube, Flikr, Google, and Yahoo leading the way
Today, Facebook is the second most visited site on the Internet, with more than 40% of all Internet users visiting the site every day! Facebook allows you to connect with new and old friends, but it also allows you to network with people who share common interests, including business. For example, you could become a “friend” of your accountant. When you’re connected in a social setting like that, it improves the relationship that you have with that person. You, as a business person, know how important these relationships can be.
From another perspective, sites like Facebook are great for connecting with your current customers and prospects alike. Facebook gives you the ability to create a company page. This is a free service. Your company page can contain information about your company, but you could also use it to communicate with customers, advertise special offers and deals, and strengthen your relationships. All the while, you can attract new customers as well by searching for them and asking your customers to bring their friends over to your page. On Facebook, when a Facebook user wants to keep track of your company or simply likes your company, they click a “Like” button and all their friends instantly see that they did. It’s almost like an endorsement.
Almost 8,000,000 Australians were active on Facebook in 2010. They use Facebook to keep in touch with the people in their lives, but they also use it to find products and services, then get discounts and information. How many of your customers do you think are on Facebook? The answer is probably a good majority.
Now, how many potential customers do you think you could find there? Remember, almost eight million were active on Facebook last year alone. Facebook is a hotbed for nearly any company. If you can just reach those people while they’re on Facebook – using a method they’ll respond to – can you imagine how much new business you can bring in? Can you imagine the revenue? Where else are you going to find almost eight million potential customers in one place? (Nowhere.)
Imagine having just 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 people who “like” your company on Facebook. Then imagine those people getting their friends to like it as well. It gives you a way to communicate with customers and potential customers quickly and easily. You can bring your brand to Facebook. You can also deepen your brand by using your personality and interacting with people. It’s up to you what you do, as long as you do it. Marketing experts claim that Australian businesses can’t afford to pass up on the revenue that simply having a company Facebook page can bring.
If you’re hesitant, look at this:
- The airline Jetstar recently shifted 40% of its marketing budget away to social media.
- Three quarters of Australian businesses with 100 employees or over planned to use social media in 2010
- Fifty percent of Australian businesses fear losing touch with their customers if they do not use social media
They successfully use Facebook for:
- Demand generation
- Brand building
- Customer Feedback
- Relationship building
- Community building
- Increasing revenue
- Customer engagement
- And much more
But it doesn’t stop with Facebook. Other social media sites such as Twitter and YouTube give you the opportunity to reach new and old customers too. Imagine doing a product demo video and, using simple keywords, getting your video viewed by thousands of people. Best yet, for free.
How about customer service? How much does your company value feedback from its customers? Twitter is an excellent place not only to advertise your business, but to communicate with customers about their experiences. Twitter is a lot like Facebook, only simpler. Your posts or “tweets” can’t be any longer than 140 characters. And, instead of the friends you have on Facebook, on Twitter you have followers. You can easily attract followers by using things such as hash tags in your posts. Let’s use the blue sneaker example again. You can post to Twitter: 50% off blue sneakers today only. #bluesneakers. The # indicates a hash tag. Anyone searching for blue sneakers could find you, follow you, take advantage of your sale, and become a loyal customer.
Building a presence on any social networking site can be daunting if you don’t know how to attract consumers to you. It can also be time consuming. Let Rethink Marketing help. We’ll sit down with you for a free consultation and introduce you to social media as it will benefit your company. Each company takes a slightly different direction, so we’ll discuss how you can use social media to increase your return on investment, as well as your revenue.