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Six Clear Reasons Why You Should be Using Social Media to Build Your Credibility

By Hector Cisneros

An ad agency client asked me the other day to provide them the primary reason why their clients should use Social Media as part of their advertising mix. Specifically they were talking about Facebook, Twitter and Angieslist. The answer to this question is often confusing and misstated. This article provides six concise reasons why Social Media is so important today.  Reading this article will make it easy for the reader to see why Social Media has risen so quickly in advertising circles and it will help them prosper from using it.  Here are a few reasons why they should use Social Media as part of their marketing mix. 

1. Word of Mouth is Number One!
Word of Mouth - Visualized
Word of Mouth - Visualized (Photo credit: mvellandi)

Ask any business owner or advertising agent what’s the best form of advertising and they will say word of mouth. It's the number one way to build real credibility. When you run an ad it’s recognized as a commercial, and the average person believes that ads exaggerate and are deceptive. When a person mentions how great your product or service is, or how wonderful your installers were, it's a testimonial. Word of mouth is perceived as the absolute truth and is priceless! Social Networking is Word of Mouth on Steroids. Make sure your clients are posting testimonials on your social media pages.

2. Social Media Provides a Huge Number of Potential Prospects!

1.4 Billion Reasons presentation.
1.4 Billion Reasons presentation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Facebook is the number two destination on the internet. It has almost a "billion" subscribers that cross all walks of life. Our local area has more than 500 thousand Facebook subscribers! If you added all the subscribers for Facebook, Twitter, (which has around 400 million) Google+, (which has around 300 million) Angieslist, YouTube (with 3 billion views a day) and LinkedIn (200 million business users), you would end up with a huge number of potential prospects. Of these services only Angieslist charges members to subscribe. This means that 98 percent of all Social Networks are basically free to use. Granted there is some overlap but the number of users would still be more than a billion people!

3. You can Get Psychographic as well as Demographic Information on Your Target Market!

Facebook provides psycho-graphic and demographic profiles on its followers. To some extent you can target prospects on LinkedIn and Twitter with their profile information also.  Your ability to target subscribers via their profile is one of the main differences between a Social Media Pay Per Click programs and a Search Engine pay per click program. With a Search Engine, you are selecting a specific demographic. With Social Media you are targeting their personal profiles. Needless to say this is very powerful.  

A segment of a social network
A segment of a social network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Also you can target someone via who they are connected to. When a person likes your page, their friends will see them listed as liking your page when your ad is running during your pay per click campaign. Thus your ad is displayed to matching profiles and appears as being endorsed by their friends at the same time. In otherwords, their friends will appear to be providing a tacit endorsement of your product/service. Their friends will be perceived as saying that they like your products! This only occurs when you’re engaged in pay per click ad and or story ad campaigns.

4. Social Media Provides Real Client Engagement; no Other Media Does This so Well

Social Media Brand Engagement Curve
Social Media Brand Engagement Curve (Photo credit: Intersection Consulting)

It's a great way to engage your clients and prospects. No other media has a way of directly communicating with clients. When a customer makes a comment on one of your posts, you can quickly speak directly to them by answering or commenting on their post. You can even see if they are online and invite them to chat with you. There are other chat and direct response services out there that can help provide this kind of interaction, but few are free to use and are not part of the built in culture of Social Networks.

5. Social Media Provides Back-link Support for Your SEO Efforts 

exchange-links (Photo credit: vaXzine)
Both Twitter and Google+ post provides backlinks that are current and relevant. Because these posts are current, they receive high rankings. On top of that, each post counts as separate backlinks! These links also rank high on search engines especially if they are recent and match the keywords of the search. This is also true to some extent for LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook. I have also seen review posts act in this way and I always encourage my clients to ask their customers to post recommendations and testimonials. LinkedIn actually has a special section dedicated to show casing recommendations. These recommendations are used extensively by LinkedIn users. Facebook has a slew of add on applets that allow users to connect with each other and make recommendations in somewhat different ways.

6. Using Social Media is a Great Way to Provide a Subtle Form of Touch Marketing

Atari Game 1980
There is no question that if you stay in contact with your clients on a regular basis with helpful tips and useful information they would learn to look forward to your communications with them. If you are providing useful, interesting, funny or entertaining messages via your post, clients and prospects will pay attention. This type of interaction builds trust over time. It will also allow you to sneak in an occasional subtle commercial without ruffling your follower’s feathers. After a short period of time you will be able to provide direct response mail offering your current specials without being added to the spam list. If you respect your follower’s time, interests and privacy by providing them with useful information that they care about, they will reward you by staying engaged with your company.

I don't want to oversimplify why Social Media marketing is so powerful. I also don't want to imply that it's easy, because it's very labor intensive. Having said this, its common knowledge that word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising there is. Social Networking is all about word of mouth. It's word of mouth with exponential growth and speed potential! When you say something about your product or service, it's perceived at best as hyperbole. On the other hand when a customer (and their friends) praises your product or service on a Social Network, it’s a testimonial. Because of the nature of Social Networks, that message can become viral very quickly, spreading a positive message, so fast that it makes face to face word of mouth marketing seem like watching grass grow. This also means that Social Media can be a double edge sword. It can make you look good and help close the deal or it can hurt your chances when you don't compare well against your competition.

In this article I have shared with you six potent reasons why you should be engaged in Social Media. It’s becoming a vital part of business marketing. The truth is this; even if you’re not using Social Media, your clients and prospects are, and they are talking about your product or service whether you know it or not. Social Media word of mouth can help or hurt you quickly. If you have no direct input, if you’re not engaged you are vulnerable! If you want to have any semblance of control, any ability to steer your message so that it is positive, have any perceived value as being useful, as being engaging and compelling, then you need to be engaged. Not using social media today is like being an ostrich with its head in the sand, just before the lion waltz’s in for dinner.

If you use these six principles in your advertising campaigns, your efforts will produce greater results and more positive long term effects. Ignore these principles and you will have to deal with the long term consequences of your inaction's. You will be left behind while your competition surges ahead and stakes a claim to your customers. Take advantage of Social Media marketing, it’s mostly free and there for the taking.

I have written several other articles covering how to use social Media effectively. See my syndicated articles covering social networking on Ezine magazine online. Especially read these three; #1, Success Secrets for Social Media Connecting, #2, Three Common Mistakes Business People Make When Using Social Media and #3, Six Cardinal Rules for Success in Social Media Marketing. Here is a link to my articles:

That’s my opinion I love to hear yours.

Hector Cisneros is the director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win. He's also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web To Win" on Hector is  a writer and author, has been an entrepreneur for more than 30 years, is a veteran of BNI for 19 years and was a BNI director for over five years. He is still an active BNI member and follows its   philosophy of "Givers Gain." He is the owner of several businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. Hector actively coaches business owners in the fine art of Online advertising, Business Networking and Word of Mouth marketing. He is a principle partner in Working the Web to Win and the president of Website Know How, Inc. a holding company for several of his business ventures that include online advertising, word of mouth marketing, real estate holdings, non-profit training/support, book publishing, health and wellness product sales and adventure sports. Hector's new book "60 Seconds to Success," teaches business owners how to get the most from word-of-mouth marketing by using great 60-second introductions. To learn more about Hector Cisneros, Social Media, Online Marketing or Word of Mouth Marketing visit Hector's profile on  Networkers Apprentice workshop or his book's website:

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