Social media certainly is all the rage right now – but is it going to be in your 2011 Strategic Marketing Plan? If not, here are five reasons it should be:
- Your customers are on social media. They have Facebook accounts, Twitter profiles, Foursquare checkins and are on Linkedin. If you’re business isn’t on them, you’re missing a prime opportunity to connect with your customers – and more importantly your potential customers.
- Your customers are making buying decisions based upon what their friends and followers are saying on social media. A recent study completed by Pingdom and reported by HubSpot notes that across all age groups, advice being sought is coming from either colleagues or social media sites. If you’re on social media, you have a chance to influence those purchasing decisions.
- Your customers are looking for an opportunity to share you with their friends. If you’re on social media, you can give them that chance. A portion of your customers are just looking for a chance to tell all their friends about the great experience they had at your business. With social media, they can do that easily by becoming a fan, follower, or checking in.
- Your competitors are on social media. Remember in the early ’90s when someone came to you and said, “You’ve got to get a website” and you thought, “now why on earth would I want one of those?” Today, you know the answer to that question. Social media is currently evolving, but shows every indication it will become the mainstay that websites today have become. Getting in early will give you the first mover’s advantage here.
- Budgets are tight – no kidding right? Social media is a cost-effective, low price-barrier investment for your company. It’s true that what you don’t spend in hard costs is often made up for with staffing costs. If your marketing firm is over-whelmed and over-worked, consider outsourcing social media to a third party provider. (Shameless self-promotion: I’d recommend Paradux Media Group.) Even outsourcing your social media will be less expensive than what you’re paying to be on one radio station a month…in a small market.) Build it into your budget, you’ll be glad you did.
Whatever reasons you choose, the answer should be including social media in your 2011 Strategic Marketing Plan. You owe it to yourself and your business to become proficient in this medium before it becomes a requirement. Once you’re in social media, you can start reaping the benefits. Come on in, the water’s fine!