Is Social Media a fad? Could be; it depends on your definition of the word “fad”. Was email a fad? How about the Internet as a whole? Or computers?
More importantly, it is worth focussing on the fact that new products & services come along at a tremendous rate on the Internet these days. If they prove useful though, they tend to stick around.
How can Social Media Work for You?
So what is so useful about Social Media for business right now? Here’s a summary:
- Social Media can bypasses the “gatekeeper” (e.g. a company receptionist) and allow communication directly with the decision makers. This may change in the future, but for now, it is a great benefit.
- There are millions of bloggers & “Twitterers”. They have the capability to influence others. If you encourage positive interaction through social media, your positive reputation can potentially spread virally. Social Media is effectively an online channel facilitating word of mouth referrals and recommendations.
- Over time, you are able to reduces your marketing costs without reducing your number of leads.
- Part of the reason that costs are reduced is that your marketing efforts can be so much more focussed and deliver a higher success rate. Social Media campaigns *can* offer significantly increased conversion rates. For example, CTRs on links sent via Twitter DMs or mentions can be pretty high. Note: this does not mean that you should adopt a “SPAMMY” aproach to social media marketing and blitz 1000s of users with @ mentions. This will NOT benefit your business long-term.
Real Life Social Media Marketing Case Studies
So these are a few reasons for getting involved with Social Media for your business. But does it *really* work? The logic seems sound, but what about in practice; in the real world? Well, here are some positive examples we have experienced:
- We conducted a localised search on Twitter for people tweeting about topics we were interested in. Over time, we followed several people using this method. We also sent personal (non-automated) @ mentions to some of them. Several 2-way conversations were started. On some occasions, we outlined what we offered (sometimes it is better to wait until you are asked - your profile should explain what you do so people you connect with can find out what you do if they really want to). A month or two after initiating these connections, one user expressed an interest in getting a quote for a project they had in their pipeline but wouldn’t be able to handle in house. This relationship has the potential for long-term benefits including repeat business.
- We regularly tweet about what we’re up to and what technologies we use (e.g. Wordpress, Magento E-commerce etc…). We generated a fresh enquiry for a new e-commerce project via our Twitter account from one of our followers who we had met and engaged with via Twitter only. In fact, the interest was on behalf of someone they knew (word of mouth in action!).
- We are members of several relevant groups on LinkedIn. I occasionally set aside half an hour or so to go through some of the most relevant & active ones and post comments to existing discussions and occasionally start a new conversation if I think it would be of interest to other members (e.g. a popular Blog post relevant to the group in question). One of these posts of mine generated a fresh lead from a LinkedIn member we had never communicated with before relating to the technology that we had posted about.
- I decided it would be a good time to start a LinkedIn group related to Internet Marketing for professionals & buyers within a certain geographical region (Look us up on LinkedIn - we’re called the “Thames Valley Internet Marketing” group). I promoted this on Twitter and our Blog. I also invited a select few of my existing LinkedIn connections to join, one of which I had connected with 6+ months previous but had not managed to work together yet. The invitation to the group nudged them into asking for assistance on a potential project in their pipeline.
As your targeted follower network grows, the number of incoming leads will naturally increase also. It’s all about getting in front of people, and staying in front of people, without getting in their way and becoming annoying!
What often discourages people is the on-going effort required. This can turn out to be quite minimal though, if planned & managed properly. The most important thing is to have a plan; a strategy for your social media marketing. You will not see results over night.
Interested to learn more? Talk to us!
Tel: +44 (0)1494 259 141