When we used to talk about being ‘social’ we meant getting out there and seeing friends, talking to people and getting involved in the community. Really, the social wasn’t seen as a major aspect of the business world; it was a weekend activity. But with the emergence of social media in the 21st century landscape, the term ‘social’ has become more a part of business than ever before.
Over the past few years the popularity of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Youtube, LinkedIn and more recent developments like Google + has seen a shift in attitudes towards ‘the social’ for businesses.With the social world becoming far more public, businesses now have the opportunity to connect with their customers on a more social level. The days of the faceless corporation seem to be coming to an end, with customers wanting a more personal relationship with the brands and the businesses they are ‘fans’ of.
Over 43% of Australians own a smart phone, putting social media in their pockets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In a recent study by eMarketer, 48% of people said when they wake up in the middle of the night or as soon as they wake in the morning, they log straight on to social media. Indeed many have ‘push notifications’ activated on their iPhones so they receive messages with updates from their social networks. With over 500 million users with the average time spent on Facebook each day being 55 minutes, it is easy to justify creating a Facebook page for your business. Social media now accounts for 22.7% of our online time with 47% of Baby Boomers “maintaining an active Facebook page”, according to eMarketer’s Boomers and Social Media Report.
A quick search on Seek will show you that this new trend in social media marketing has already opened up many jobs for the creation and maintenance of company’s social networking pages and websites. One of the key elements of maintaining an effective social presence is updates; you can’t just let a social page static for weeks on end. In order to keep fans you need to stay relevant and constantly offer them something; be that news, offers, competitions or discussion topics. When deciding how to go about your business’ social presence, keep in mind that you may need to appoint a current or new member of staff to upload content and answer questions from customers. Alternatively, you can reach an agreement with your marketing and advertising agency to maintain your social media presence.
The importance of social media in the rapidly changing world of marketing cannot be underestimated. Having an up-to-date, customised social media presence means you can reach potential clients at a personal level and promote your brand. In this increasingly fragmented media landscape, it is imperative for you to reach out to your stakeholders in their environment and make it easy for them to engage with your company and each other to create a community of ‘raving fans’. This means complementing your traditional channels of communication such as direct mail, press, radio and television, with the new social media.
The Marketing Mix has just launched a new social media platform which is now available to current and prospective clients. For a copy of the package, email firstname.lastname@example.org