Big brother is watching! Just kidding! Seriously though, imagine the possibility and the plausibility that the FBI is currently tapping social media networks for potential national security threats. Odds are that this is already occurring! Social media has grown and there’s absolutely no doubt that all of the different media out there are being used for reasons that best be left undisclosed. But, what does this tell us? If the FBI is willing to devote entire projects to social networks then they’re not just fads, right? I mean, it is your tax money…
Did You Know?
- Youtube is the 2nd biggest search engine on the internet! And, at least 50 percent of Youtube’s 300 million users visit the site no less than once per week!
- People are using Facebook 40 percent more so this year than last year!
- Approximately 2.5 billion photos are uploaded to Facebook every single month!
- 96 percent of the 18-35 year-old audience occupies some kind of social network space!
- Nearly 15 percent of all bloggers devote 10 or more hours every week to blogging!
- Nearly 25 percent of all search results for the planet’s largest brands are links to content generated by people outside of the corporation!
- 78 percent of all consumers place their faith in their peers’ recommandations!
- 1 in 5 Americans use Twitter!
- Twitter adds nearly 300,000 new member every day!
Data accrued by Kissmetrics…
These statistics are unbelievable, and they show us where the majority of our time is spent as a society – in front of a computer, socializing. On a personal level, this is fun. On a business level, this is vital. There are so many networks out there that are designed for your specific target market. And, there are so many large social networks out there like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with sub-communities that are perfect fits for your business.
But of course, how do you measure ROI on social media, right? For years, businesses spent money on a variety of traditional media, and they could tell you how much money they made from their investment. Now, when businesses invest in social media they meet up face to face with a huge question mark that might as well be yelling, “Ha! You spent $500 on social media and you’re getting nothing!!!” However, this is simply not true for the majority of businesses.
Let me explain first with businesses that don’t quite fit the social media mold… yet. Simply, there’s no market yet. Just like an Italien restaurant on the Hill in St. Louis, there’s a demographic market that is willing to keep them in business because that restaurant serves good food at a reasonable price. On the contrary, what if you owned a nice workout center in the middle of a small town in Montana. Odds are you would not have a big enough market to sustain your overhead let alone your investment in a franchise or independent facility. In this case, your business’ market isn’t big enough or hasn’t adapted to social media. My words of advice, be patient and prepare. Sooner or later, social media will continue to grow and your involvement now will pay dividends in the years to come.
Now, I will explain why social media is good for businesses that have a market in social media. Firstly, don’t approach social media like a slot machine. You can’t hope to insert a quarter and hit the jackpot. On the other hand, you can’t approach it like a charity either. Right now, social media networks are a means by which companies can create brand awareness, create conversation and pursue the relationship side of relationship marketing. In a way, social media has made it easy to keep up with your customers and make sure their experience with your business was great, ok or bad. That’s worth something more than just “something”. In fact, relationship marketing (a timeless business strategy) is built on one major component that all social media are built on – Word Of Mouth. Everyone, word of mouth is the best marketing you could pursue because as I pointed out earlier (78 percent of all consumers place their faith in their peers’ recommandations). So, if I am able to reach out to my customers via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or what have you, then I have begun the chain reaction that is relationship marketing that will evolve into positive word of mouth more times than not (assuming your customer service is effective). Then, this word of mouth will turn into recommendations, leads, suggestions, etc. It’s simple, right?
If social media has the FBI’s attention then it should have yours as well. Your audience is out there growing, and your business should be growing with them. Humanity has grown over time to become more adaptable, more efficient and more effective. Social media has made things more efficient and more effective. There’s no going back.