February 13

Social Media Madness

How many “friends” do you have? Do you “Tweet” regularly? What about “Yelp?” And when was the last time you “Pinned” an image? If you are scratching your head about now, it’s time for Social Media 101.

But wait! Isn’t social media about selling to consumers you ask? Remember, every business person to whom you sell is also a consumer! And, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2012 Report1, businesses must broaden their definition of leadership to execute on both the fundamentals of profit and societal good. 2012 brought an unprecedented nine-point decline in trust in government, the report goes on to say. And As government officials are being seen as less credible, so are CEO’s. More and more people are turning to their peers. “A person like me” has re-emerged as one of the three most credible spokespeople with its biggest increase in credibility since 2004.

B2C vs B2B
So how do you use Social Media for your business? Simply put, business today is all about relationships. Social Media gives businesses large and small an even playing field to build connections and customer loyalty. Facebook is particularly useful to listen to your customers’ needs, create trust, establish authority, and connect on a more personal level while remaining consistent with your brand. You can also use it to build new leads and even check out your competition.

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Social Media makes us “real” to our customers. But remember, if you want people to follow you and/or your company, you must go beyond the latest product news and share your personality with them.

What is Social Media?
According to Wikipedia, refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, exchange contents among themselves in virtual communities and networks. The most used and well-known examples include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+. However there are dozens of Social Media sites and tools out there with millions of users. Though this list is not comprehensive, here is a list of the most popular with the number of users as of January 30, 2013 from (where else) the internet2!
–    1.06 Billion – Monthly Active Facebook Users
–    800 Million – YouTube Users (4 Billion Views per Day)
–    500 Million – Total Twitter Users (200 Million Active Users)
–    400 Million – Registered Google+ Users
–    280 Million – Skype Users
–    200 Million – LinkedIn Users
–    100 Million+ – Dropbox Users
–    90 Million – Instagram Users

Other SM Fast Facts:
–    More people have digital identities than passports
–    Asia now has surpassed Europe in Facebook users (278 million vs. 251 million)
–    The Google+ button is used 5 billion times per day
–    “Student” is the number one occupation of Google+ users
–    48 percent of Fortune Global 100 companies use Google+
–    LinkedIn has 2 new signups per second
–    175 million Tweets are sent daily
–    4 billion hours of video are watched monthly on YouTube
–    51% of people aged 25–34 used social networking in the office, more than any other age group
–    People continue to spend more time on social networks than any other category of sites—20% of their time spent on PCs and 30% of their mobile time
–    Social Media has overtaken pornography as the No. 1 activity on the web
–    The popularity of various social networks will change but the desire to communicate within a social network will not
–    With growing skepticism, repetition has become even more important to establish trust and credibility

So what does all of this mean to you and your business? The time has come to firmly establish your company’s online identity.  With that in mind, here are the top questions marketers are (or should be) asking3:

•    How do I measure the ROI of my social media marketing?
•    How do I find my target audience with social media?
•    What are the best ways to engage my audience?
•    How do I sell with social media?
•    How should I best use my time to maximize my social media results?
•    How do I create a social media strategy?
•    What social media tactics are the most effective?
•    What are the best social media management tools?
•    How much time is required to maintain an effective social media campaign?
•    Where can I find the answer to these questions?

Watch for our series on Social Media Tools for Success in future issues!

1    Edelman Trust Barometer 2012 Report – http://trust.edelman.com/
2    http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/resource-how-many-people-use-the-top-social-media/
3    http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/report/

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