Why Should Businesses Use Social Media Marketing?

To market on social networks or not to market? That is the question. Is there a place for my business on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, possibly even YouTube?

Maybe you’re familiar with social networking, maybe your company has asked you to check out what all the fuss is about. Either way it’s important that you understand social networking and what it means to you, me, and future generations.  If the statistics presented in the video below are true, then we have to acknowledge that social media isn’t just a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way that we communicate.

Clearly as a marketer it is imperative to understand the way people communicate to get your message across. The trends show that people are communicating differently using social networks, and if you don’t want to be left behind then you need to communicate differently.

“78% of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 14% trust advertisements.” People use their TiVo’s, DVR’s, and switch to Hulu to get away from the traditional advertisements. Push advertising doesn’t work like it used to. Social networking is different because it utilizes pull advertising. It’s along the lines of, “Hey join our community if you like, find out more about us, and someday if you’re interested in purchasing you know where we are. And if you’re not interested we can still be friends.

There are many different social media strategies that businesses can utilize. According to a recent article from eMarketer, “social networks can be used for branding, improving customer loyalty, lead generation, direct marketing and e-commerce.” The article also references a MarketingSherpa survey of social media marketers, in which 92% of respondents say social media marketing is effective at influencing brand reputation, and 91% say it works for increasing brand awareness.

When companies like Coke, Microsoft, and The New York Times  are using social networks to further their services and communicate their messages, don’t you think it’s time for you to consider a social media marketing strategy too?

How does your business use social media in its marketing? Tell us about your successes, failures, and what has worked for your social media marketing plan.