Ever heard of Web 2.0?
If you have, you are already aware of the growing phenomenon that is Social Media. A Web 2.0 site allows its users and visitors to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue.
Like, Post, Share, and Tweet. These are some of the many words we associate with Social Media. The two biggest Social Networking sites have over a billion active accounts between then (Facebook now has 845 million active users and Twitter a further 175 million). The business potential here is huge. Imagine a realistic opportunity to promote your products or services to that amount of people, and more importantly, it’s free to do it!
As with anything, Social Media also carries its weight in disadvantages. We have already said that there are over a billion registered accounts between Facebook and Twitter. The problem here is that people who have negative experiences with a particular business can also freely state their point of view, often destroying reputation with only a few words but plenty of exposure, but if used correctly it can add a great deal of power and reach to your overall marketing strategy.
Lets assume that you create a facebook and twitter account for your website. You will place links on your page identifying to your users that they can easily communicate with you by adding you to their list of friends or followers. With facebook, each time a users joins your page, all of their friends will know about it, and if interested you have their eyes too!
Every announcement, news article or feature that you publish will then have an eagerly awaiting audience ready to react, comment or share with their friends, expanding your reach. The more friends or followers you have, the wider your network reaches and expands.
Social Media Facts
22% of the time spent online in the US is related to Social Networking
Twitter processes around 40 million Tweets per day
One in four social media users are aged 65 or over, a increase of 100% during 2010
Facebook tops the Google Searches for weekly traffic in the US
Social Media is now the #1 activity on the web, overtaking Pornography
If Facebook was a country, it would be the third largest
YouTube is the second largest search engine online
If you decide to place yourself in the social media space, engage your audience and create a community presence and deliver regular quality news, articles and relative content. Don't assume that a social media platform will deliver direct sales for you, but used correctly it gives you the platform to position your product, website or brand infront of a truly global audience.
Take a slow and measured approach to learn the ropes and build your social media campaigns and remember how many people could be watching!