Social media and social networking, for all their activity, are still a mystery to many businesses. Maybe you’re concerned it’s all just hype. Or that there’s no business opportunity in them. Sure. That’s possible. But, before you write them off completely, here are a few ideas you should consider:
- First, we’ve got Jennifer Grove at American Express’s Open Forum, who looks at why small businesses shouldn’t take social media for granted.
- Not enough for you? OK, how about one more reason: 73% of teens use social networks and 75% have a mobile phone, with half using those phones to send over 50 texts per day. You don’t market to teens you say? But, did you know that half of parents “friend” their kids on Facebook? So it’s not just kids out there, now, is it?
- What if you are interested, but are still not sure how to use social media for your business? Mashable has a great set of beginner’s tips targeted at traditional media that should work well for many businesses. And my past round-up of 5 ways to put social to work ain’t bad, either. If I do say…
- If you’re ready to go full-throttle into the world of social, you may want to be like Ben & Jerry’s and drop email marketing in favor of social media. I think that’s an extreme approach and, in fact, have argued that email is a social network in its own right. I doubt we’ll see this as a trend anytime soon, but it’s entirely possible this is a first step down a longer road.
- FInally, take a look at Michael Gray’s post about how to use LinkedIn to generate business. It’s a great piece and many of the tips should work equally well in Facebook and other social networks, too. Of course, if Facebook is your primary aim, take a look at my review of Justin Levy’s “Facebook Marketing”.
Social (and mobile and local) are very, very real. While many businesses are still learning how to make the most of them, the same was true of the Internet as a whole a decade ago. There is no “silver bullet.” Most of this learning is going to take time, experimentation, and the occasional failure along the way. But, your customers are using social media every day. Isn’t that reason enough why you should, too?
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