Social Media As an Investment


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10 Social Media Dos and Don'ts for online Business Success

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Social Media As an Investment

  1. 1. ==== ====1 Wierd News They Dont You To Know... ====The Extreme Importance of Social Media in Business Today!Social media... its all the rage today! It is increasingly becoming a more integral part of peopleseveryday lives, especially now that people can carry the world in their pockets with cell phonesthat are Web enabled and have data packages. Since there are now over two billion people --nearly one-third the entire worlds population -- connected via social media, it has become crucial,even critical, for businesses to take advantage of the huge potential given to them by social media.Those who fail to take advantage of this trend do so at their own peril!Dejavu All Over Again!Some say were seeing the repeat of trends we saw at the turn of the century... all over again.Though the Internet as a communication tool began October 29, 1969, celebrating the firstcommunication between two distant computers, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web inMarch of 1989, giving us the hyper-text markup language (HTML) that enables pages, links andbrowsers used all over the world to interact with each other. In the year 2000, the Web as weknow it was a mere eleven years old. Businesses were beginning to realize that the Internet wasbecoming bigger and bigger and was moving beyond the military (its original user), academia andbusiness, and increasingly into peoples homes (and now...even their pockets!) Online shoppingwas gradually gaining on brick and mortar retail, competing more and more for shoppers dollars.Businesses that took advantage of the trend became more successful, whereas those that didntsuffered as their competitors beat them in the online marketplace.Good examples that have made the news recently include Borders Books and Blockbuster Video.Borders didnt believe the Web would become as big as it has and was soon upstaged byAmazon, who began using their online platform for books and now sell just about everything.Blockbuster Video, once seen in so many communities, has now closed so many of their brick andmortar stores since Netflix came on the scene. Had it not been for Dish Network stepping in, mostBlockbuster stores would have had to close. Now their trying to win back Netflix customersangered over recent fee hikes. Blockbuster is hoping to stay viable and relevant with their newestprogram.Return on Investment....Bang for Your Buck!The main point is that were seeing a similar trend in business today with regard to social media.Business is beginning to "humanize" and get back to that "get-to-know-you" feel of hometownbusinesses where business owners and customers often actually connect on a personal basis.Social media is helping to create this personal feel on a much larger scale now, in the sense thatpeople can stay digitally more connected than ever...even as they "cocoon" in their homes/offices
  2. 2. and have less face-to-face communication.While we can argue the ill social effects of that social trend, businesses cant ignore it. By the verynature of what they do, those involved in network marketing, a.k.a. affiliate marketing or multi-levelmarketing, certainly cant ignore it as a primary tool for building down lines and expanding theirbusiness beyond their warm market of family and friends, many of whom may or may not beinterested in a home-based business or work-at-home business opportunity, however quicklygrowing that trend is. The social media explosion is getting more and more attention. Businessleaders are talking about it, authors are writing about it, and some say its just the beginning.Business trend experts like Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy, say that wereseeing the "calm before the social media storm" (see the link to his MSNBC interview on YouTubeat the end of the "LinkedIn" discussion below. It will blow your mind what this guy knows andenvisions about the power of social media for business!). Many people in the business worldhavent yet jumped into social media. Theyre sizing it up and calculating the return oninvestment...not realizing that the longer they wait, the more they stand to lose out on theenormous potential of being able to get their brand, product(s), and service(s) out in front ofpotentially millions of people in an extremely cost efficient way compared to traditional print andTV advertising media. Branding, name recognition, market share growth, customer loyalty, brandambassadorship...are all important goals of business enhanced via social media.But We Have a Website!Individual entrepreneurs, companies large and small, organizations, network marketers, affiliateprograms, even nonprofit organizations that think that having a web site is enough of an onlinepresence these days are sorely mistaken. Since so many current and potential customers andclients are engaged in social media, theyre coming to expect more and more that businesses andorganizations they associate with will also be able to engage with them on social media platforms.This worldwide recession we are in is making social media platforms more important to remainrelevant... to maintain a presence, build customer loyalty, and just survive.Im Broke...I Have a Limited Budget!Those on a limited marketing budget will find out that social media marketing is very cost-effective,with a great return on investment compared to traditional, non-trackable forms of advertising.Having an employee devote even part of his/her time keeping social media up to date is well worththe effort and expense in the added, perceived value it will create, providing information aboutyour products, services, news, sales, deals, etc., and potentially increasing your customer/clientbase tremendously in the process.Blogging, for example, is an easy way to create an outreach program for your brand, company,organization, etc., that will not only raise awareness of who you are and what you do, but increaseyour credibility with an ever-growing, social-media-savvy public. They will be able to share bothpositives and negatives about their experience with your products and/or service, especially if yourespond to them. They will develop more confidence in your brand, feel more connected to you,and develop more loyalty. They will more likely become the willing ambassadors for your brand,product, or service that you want them to be! Also...those who DO have a web site, which isnormally used to provide information, take orders, etc., will most likely see increased traffic on their
  3. 3. sites which will result in increased sales...and an increase in your return on the investment youmade in your social media campaigns. Best of all is that most social media platforms are availableFOR FREE, or with little actual monetary investment relevant to other forms of traditionaladvertising, and with greater return on investment.A Growing Trend...Better Jump On the Bandwagon!Some estimate the number of social media sites at 30,000 and growing by 300 new sites a month!So, to avoid the pitfalls of starting at the wrong place, the best places to start are with the currenttop giants, like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. You want your customers to get to knowyou first. You want to share useful information with them...information that is educational,informative, entertaining, even funny...but valuabel You dont want to do outright selling of yourgoods and services in social media, which is more for engaging your customers or potentialcustomers. You want to lead your customers to your website, and that is where you will do yourselling!Facing the Giants!Twitter is one of the fastest growing, on-the-fly social media platforms, with some 200 millionusers, 460 thousand new accounts daily, and 1 billion tweets a week! This medium allows you topost instant updates on almost any topic you wish, alerting all those who "follow" you closest, oryour most loyal "fans" from Facebook or most loyal customers/clients who use your services mostfrequently. And...its free!Facebook, with an estimated membership approaching 750 million users, half of them logging oneach day an average of half an hour to an hour, is DEFINITELY the king of social media today andan audience you need to get in front of! If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest onthe planet. 100 million mobile users access Facebook regularly. 40% of Facebook users become"fans" of products and services. So, youll need a Facebook fan page.YouTube is the second largest search engine to Google, and is actually owned by Google now.Over 2 billion videos are streamed daily, with 35 hours of new footage being added each minute!There are some 200 billion views per day! The average YouTube user spends 15 minutes a dayon YouTube. Obviously, this represents another huge marketing opportunity for those wanting toget themselves in front of an audience...and again, its free!LinkedIn, which just went public last spring, currently has over 100 million users.. Although gearedmore towards the networking of professionals, it still represents a great way to network with peopleand get your business promoted. People in your network can refer and recommend you to others,thereby giving you more credibility.You need to catch the eye-opening Gary Vaynerchuk MSNBC interview mentioned above wherehe discusses these trends!Get Going Today...Just DO IT!Businesses using social media today say it is helping them to do the following:
  4. 4. 1) generate exposure; 2) improve web site traffic; 3) help build new partnerships; 4) generatequalified leads; 5) turn many leads into customers; and 6) brand them and their business.According to recent social media marketing research:80% of business-to-consumer companies plan to increase their social media usage...will you beone of them?73% of marketers plan to increase their YouTube usage...will that be you?81% of B2B companies maintain profiles on social you?85% of consumers want to engage companies using social media...will they find you there?As you can see, social media is here to stay and those who take advantage of it and truly harnessits potential will have the edge. The next few years were expecting the social media wave to growto enormous proportions.Its time to catch the social media buzz and jump on the wave...before youre swamped by it! Seeyou in the surf!Michael J. SavinoMichael Savino Social Media ConsultingMedia Consultant for/Independent Business Owner in Social OutbreakClick on the links below to see how we can help YOU benefit from the social media wave! us on Facebook at http://www.michaelsavinosocialmediaconsulting.commjsavinos@yahoo.com1-888-906-8878Article Source: