Written by guest blogger and Perspectiv3 managing partner, Gerard McGowan
How does social media impact your business?
Most businesses face significant hurdles in today’s world, such as the economy, increased competition, shrinking margins as well many others. People recognize how critical social media could be for their business, but they don’t know where to begin and choose to focus on other priorities.
Why buy into social media?
In the last decade, social media has been the paradigm shift in online sales and marketing that the Internet was to the world in the mid to late 90’s. If you are still of the mindset that social media doesn’t work for your market, then have a look at companies in your industry who are marketing on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc. They wouldn’t be using it if it didn’t work. People in your line of business are making money by engaging in social media and so can you.
The top 5 reasons you should be using social media for sales and marketing
Excluding the obvious business decision that marketing on social media can make you more money and deliver a low cost return on investment (this is a fact), there are a many other quantifiable reasons why you should be going social whether you opt to use a professional social media company for guidance or research and manage it in-house.
1) Social media is growing
The social media adoption curve is still very much in its upward trend and you only have to think about the new social media platforms gathering momentum to reinforce this; a good example being Pinterest, which has grown exponentially over the past 12-18 months with registered users now upwards of 12 million.
2) Social media doesn’t care if your company is small or large
Like the Internet and SEO (to a certain extent), social media marketing is size neutral and the barriers to entry are non-existent (however, expert know-how can certainly help). So what does this mean to you and your business? It means that you can complete with the largest and most established organizations in your industry and you can win!
3) You can lower your cost of sale
By not investing in social media, you are not winning those low cost, high return-on-investment customers that are communicating with your competitors on social media platforms. If you need a reason to buy into social media, let it be this – there is a window of opportunity here to make being a small to medium sized business work for you on social media. Whilst your largest competitors are getting through the red tape and processes that are set in stone, you can just press on with getting going.
4) It’s moving quickly
This window of opportunity won’t last forever though so the faster you move now, the bigger head start you’ll have on your competitors. That’s where hiring a social media company will stand you in good stead as they’ll have you up and running on all the major platforms in no time, giving you plenty of time to start building and engaging your audience whilst your competitors play catch-up.
5) Buyer behavior has changed…forever
This is perhaps the most important reason of all. For sales organizations to succeed in today’s business environment, they must first accept that buyer behavior has changed. As an example, a 2012 survey1 of IT decision makers conducted by Forrester Research showed that:
- 85% of IT decision makers have used at least one social network for making business decisions.
- 73% of those surveyed have engaged with an IT vendor on a social network.
- 59% report being influenced by at least one social network when making a technology purchase.
Forrester’s latest research shows that 59% of online buyers are active on social networking sites at least weekly, and one-third of online users have become a fan of a company or brand via social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Connect with customers wanting to talk to you. Like paid advertising and organic search results in Google, Bing and the other search engines, being present, active and engaging through social media will place you in front of new audiences at key stages in their information seeking and buying activities.
*How Social Media is Changing Brand Building, Forrester, May 7, 2012