Social Media is being described as something that is: “transforming people from content consumers into content producers”.
Ever read a blog or comment about a product you were interested in purchasing? Maybe you were considering purchasing a bookshelf at target online and you read through the comments to see how easy it was to put together? That act of simply reading that comment section catapulted you into the wild and crazy world of social media.
Every comment section, blog post, Facebook status update, Linkedin profile, and “tweet” are spilled onto the web and all of that information is transformed into content searchable by engines such as Google. What does this mean for your business? It means that simply having a website or having your businesses information on yellowpages.com is not enough. Consumers trust information from fellow consumers. They also trust information from sources they feel they have a relationship with. An events promoter in their local area that they have added as a friend to their Facebook will provide them with consistent information about the happenings in their area. Over time, a trust is built with that business person. This “relationship marketing” is the core of using social media to a businesses best advantage. Let’s face it, consumers are educated enough to understand that a company’s website is biased yet, a fellow consumer that purchased a bookcase just like them is not. A press release is biased, but an informational blog about how to barbeque correctly may not be.
The idea that consumers want to be provided information rather than be sold on a product is a unique feature to Social Media. Developing a close relationship with a large number of clients via the internet is a lot less arduous then you may think. The average Facebook user has 130 friends. A status update that a member posts can reach 130 friends immediately, every comment that one of those 130 friends places on your status update can be view by their friends. If one status update is commented on by 5 friends 650 people can potentially view that comment within a matter of seconds. That’s one comment that may have only taken seconds to produce. The small scenario above is just an example of the reach Social Media has.
Social Media is calling for businesses small and large to get active, build relationships and provide information. Plenty of Social Media experts exist. Hiring an expert to guide your company into the future is a viable decision. Social Media can only grow bigger, and the faster a business can get involved the better relationships they can build for the future.