Those Silly Kids And Their Social Media
It’s okay to have opinions. In fact, it’s okay to have a lot of different opinions on one subject considering the varying degree of issues surrounding Social Media. But certain opinions should be considered more influential and valuable to you than others as you face making marketing decisions for your business today, tomorrow, and beyond. In the case of Social Media, there is one particular entity you ought to allow your opinion to be influenced by heavily, if you can gain its collective insight. That entity is the Social Media user base itself.
Did you know these bits of information, published by Cone Business in 2008, offering a window into the mindset of Americans?
93% of Americans who use Social Media believe a company should have a presence there.
85% believe a company should not only be present, but should also interact with its consumers via Social Media.
Here’s the thing: The Social Media turf does not belong to businesses. It belongs to the users – the people on the other end of this “new dawn” of dialogue happening online. And these users seem strongly of the opinion that businesses should be getting in the game with them. An invitation from your target market to connect with your target market? Insane!
So, like it or not, the window for “I told you so” has already closed on you. And what’s even more scary is the fact that your business is probably already in the Social Media space even if you’ve never tweeted or written a blog post. People talk, apparently. Your decision is now one of whether you want to be aware of what’s being said, and potentially have the opportunity to influence the opinions which are forming online.
These are two core facets of Social Media: to monitor your business reputation, and to control your business message/image. Add this to the fact that your audience is expecting you to engage with them online beyond the one way push of content you have on your website, and you’re probably quickly becoming aware of the fact that you might have some catching up to do.
The way in which the user generated content landscape of Social Media is meshing with the world of business marketing is as fascinating as it is confusing. Getting involved in Social Media is important, not just as an advertising vehicle, but even more so as a simple function of online “society.” It seems that businesses need to take on the social responsibility to play their role in this new landscape, regardless of the ads they might one day buy there, and the resulting traffic they might turn into sales.
Despite the absence of answers to all the questions out there regarding what works best, and how to measure it all to a return on investment, being an active part of the Social Media landscape is now a given.