Search this Blog

10 Reasons to Get Serious about Social Networking

 By Hector Cisneros

I’ve been preaching the merits of social networking for more years than I’d care to enumerate.  So much so that I went back to reread some of the blogs I wrote on that very subject to see what has changed.  The reason I did this was to make sure that I hadn’t left any salient detail out.  I have pointed out in black and white many reasons why social media was such a boon to business owners.  Because even after eight years, I’m still amazed and shocked that so many business people don’t understand why growing their following and posting information that is of interest to their target audience is worth it.  So, I thought I’d rewind the tape to provide you with the top-10 reasons why you need to get serious about social networking.

1.      Nothing beats word of mouth. - 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 that the average person has been trained to tune out. When a person mentions how great your product or service is online, it's a testimonial. Word of mouth isn’t perceived as an advertisement.  It’s seen as a credible endorsement.  Combining social networking with testimonials is like putting word of mouth on steroids.

2.      Creating a substantial following is like owning a broadcast station. – Business owners pay a great deal of money to have their ads broadcast on TV and radio.  Why? Because broadcasting a product or services to the masses is one way of generating business.  Bear in mind that the largest broadcast stations in the world aren’t TV or radio stations.  They’re social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  More importantly, all three of these can put your product or service in front of more targeted prospects for less money than you’ll ever spend with traditional broadcasters. 

3.      Social nets are not only more targetable, but they’re also far more trackable. – Every ad man knows that if you want your marketing to succeed you need to send it to the right audience and you need to test and measure your ad’s results.  When it comes to targeting a prospective audience, nothing beats social media.  Broadcasters can only guess at the size and makeup of their audience.  Online you get to pick and choose your audience right down to their demographic and psychographic profile.  Plus, you can accurately measure every click and result in real-time. 

4.      Social marketing can be altered at will. - This allows you to adjust your message or offer on the fly.  Try doing that with a TV or radio spot.

5.      Social nets let you engage an audience far better than other media. - No other medium has a way of directly communicating with clients. When a customer makes a comment on one of your nets, you can quickly interact with them by responding to or commenting on their post. You can even see if they are online and invite them to chat with you.

6.      Social networking amps up your SEO efforts. – Social networking provides back-links that are current and relevant. This helps improve your search engine rankings. On top of that, each post counts as a separate back-link. These links also rank high on search engines, especially if they are recent and match the keywords of the search.

7.      Using social networking is like getting a touch marketing campaign for free. - If you provide useful, interesting, funny, or entertaining messages via your posts, clients and prospects will pay attention. This type of interaction builds trust over time. It also allows you to stay top of mind without ruffling your follower’s feathers. From time to time, you’ll even be able to provide direct response offers and specials to your followers without being added to the spam list.

8.      Even businesses on a shoestring budget can afford to advertise on social nets. – While broadcast and search engine ads are expensive to deploy, social ads and boosts are much more affordable.  For less than $100, you can put your products and services in front of thousands of targeted prospects. 

9.    Social Media is multimedia. – In the beginning, social nets were text-only. Today, you can add multimedia to the mix.  Want to get the attention of the masses?  Try adding a podcast or video to your posts.  Since people are five times as likely to watch a video or listen to a podcast than to read, posting either is a great way to get many more eyeballs on your message.

10.  Social networking can support all your other advertising. -  Social media provides the missing element that other advertising mediums have always been lacking. Traditional advertising has always been unidirectional. A one-way conversation where the commercials speak at you instead of speaking to you. What’s different is that social media gives your prospects and customers another and often better means for them to communicate with you. 

There is one caveat I can't ignore when talking about the current state of Social Media. An that is the subject of excessive filtering and censorship. Right now many social media platforms are censoring political speech and filtering opposing points of view. These same platforms are also terminating subscriber accounts they don't agree with. This is the exact opposite of what made social media so great in the first place. Free speech must not be trampled because a platforms owner decide they don't agree with something a subscriber said. More importantly they must not be allowed to cheery pick when making standards for what is morally and ethnically OK. Ethical standards must be applied equally to all subscribers. Having said that, I still believe Social Media is still a powerful business tool for building a strong loyal audience and for marketing a companies products and services.

If you found this article to be useful, share it with your friends, family, and co-workers. If you feel you have something to add or just want to leave a comment do so below.  If you would like a free copy of our book Internet Marketing Tips for the 21 Century click here and fill in the form on the page. It has been my pleasure to share with you our view of the current state of search engine marketing. I look forward to reading your comments. Thanks again for reading and sharing.   

That's my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

Hector Cisneros is a partner, COO, and Social Media Director for W Squared Media Group based in Jacksonville, FL. You can connect with him on TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedIn, and YouTube. He is also the co-host of Blog Talk Radio’s “Working the Web to Win,” where he and Carl Weiss make Working the Web to Win simple for every business. Hector is a syndicated writer for EzineOnline and is an active Blogger, (including ghostwriting). He is a published author of two books, 60 Seconds to success (on sale at Amazon and B&N) and Internet Marketing for the 21st Century which you can get free by clicking on the link at WorkingTheWebToWin.com.

1 comment:

  1. Why spend dollars a click when you can get all the video views you want on YouTube for pennies apiece.

    ReplyDelete