Sure you know what social media is… it’s Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +, YouTube, SlideShare, Tumblr and the latest "addiction" - Pintrest. But what is it, really, and how can it add value to your business? There are several broad definitions of social media; most including definitions around an online network or content platform, information and/or communication tool, sharing, the ability to exchange and consume information, and real time status updates.
I personally use Facebook to update family from afar on how my 3 year old daughter is progressing by sharing cute and/or interesting new developments she is experiencing. My family logs into Facebook daily for these updates, and goes as far as getting upset when nothing is posted. Imagine if we could get our customers to be that interested and follow us that closely? Ok, perhaps not to that level, but to have them following us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and actively responding and interacting with us on a daily, weekly and even monthly basis.
So it comes down to being a way to get your message heard, but do they want to hear it? One of the most important aspects of social media is that you can now listen to your customers and prospects, then share and exchange information your customers are looking to consume and want from you specifically. Social media can add to your current marketing efforts as well. Don’t abort what you have, enhance it.The popularity of social media is growing daily. You have most likely seen the statistics of how many people are personally involved with social media; practically everyone. Now to ask the question, why does my business need it? Personally, I think it’s the ability to build relationships. Relationships with your customers are a must today. Customers have access to the internet and can compare products, research specs and know exactly what they want before making a purchase or even reaching out to specific companies that sell the product. To have a strong relationship and build brand loyalty with your customers can be the edge you have over the competition. Social media allows you to do this more easily than in the past. Instead of contacting your customers through sales reps or direct mailings, you can now create a touch point where they are: social media platforms. To create evangelists for your company is ideal -those individuals that no matter where they reside, which organization, company or part of the globe they are located in- they stress that your company is the best.
A useful resource from Marketo is their B2B social media workbook. It gives a comprehensive explanation of B2B social media and helps you understand how social media can benefit your company.
For more helpful tools and resources be sure to follow us on Facebook – Social Media for Business, this page is filled with social media guidance and examples of how Dell is leveraging social media and is focused on helping small and medium business effectively use social media to grow and better serve their customers.
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I ran into this article on forbes.com today on Social Selling - thought it tied in and that I would share - www.forbes.com/.../birth-of-a-social-salesman