Sunday, 14 November 2010

SM for your business

I am more and more often asked the same question these days that I would like to answer here:
WHY SHOULD I USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MY BUSINESS* 
                                                                                               *various sources
500 000 000 people in the world have accounts in Facebook.
Whatever you are looking for, you will find it here.
In France, they are 20 000 000, or 30% of the population, and 43% of the Internet users.

59% of the Internet users are visiting brands’ profiles on social media.

82% of people willing to make a purchase are influenced by comments on social media.

40% of Facebook visitors are visiting brands’ pages. 34% are declaring themselves as “fans’ of a concrete brand.
They are declaring they visit a brand’s page to find:
- News before other people (before they are published on the other media!)
- Promotions and special offers

- They wish to socialize with the brand and are expecting some recognition for that.

More a person is involved in the social-media “conversation” with your brand, more is he or she spending buying from you … (!) Assets are now generated from ‘Return on emotions’. Or, ROI=Return on Interaction+Return on Influence. According to a survey (see ‘The true value of Social Media” on my blog), “Socially involved customers spend more and drive higher spend levels among the people they influence.”

Social media are more and more used as search engines, replacing traditional leaders as Google (see post about that on my blog). Search engine optimization is related to social media now. Be present on social media contribute to your e-reputation and visibility on Internet. Your brand ambassadors are going to transmit your publicity messages and your brand values trough Internet for free. So, social media are an excellent buzz marketing tool. They are an innovation and innovation acceleration facilitators. Crowdsourcing helps gathering new ideas for your business. Starbucks are practicing it for a moment now and implementing best rated ideas suggested by clients on the MyStarbucks website in the practice.
Dell have used Twitter to promote special offers and have generated a profit of 1 000 000 USD in a year period. People are spending on Facebook 3h33 per month. Social media are becoming mobile and access from mobile devices is making them available 24h/24h from enywhere.
Social media helped Barak Obama to win US elections leveraging the social connections effect. It is what I call ‘the nuclear effect’ of social media. People like what people like them like … So they trust what their friends like and will recommend it to their friends …
To resume, how can your business generate profit from social media? 
- Social media can help knowing better customers and prospects (just go and see profiles of your ‘fans’ or read comments they make)

- Have new ideas directly from customers (they tell you for free how to develop your offer)

- People will make marketing campaigns for you for free

- You can easily find new partners using niche social media groups

- You became more visible on Internet (social media are well ranked on search engines and more and more used as search engines)

- Your content is re-used on different platforms (Twitter, Facebook, MachUps, via RSS feeds etc). Your brand ambassadors will continue to republish your content for free on blogs and social media.

- You can touch your target audience via specialized social media (Viadeo, LinkedIn, MeetUp … ).

- You can hire easily the best talents and discuss directly with them onsite (chat, tweet).

- Your professional contacts will help you to contact people that interest you.

- You can make a database of clients or prospects using for example a Facebook application that will ask them to fill in some data or give you access to some data on their profile if they want to use the application.

- You can use microblogging, like Twitter for immediate insides during your events.
- You can minimize you content creation budget by accepting ‘user generated content’
- You can ask people to help you on a concrete task or project (for example, translations; or specific advise, or country/market knowledge, or best practice)

- …

New usages are appearing every day. The news of the day is that Facebook are launching a messaging service … it is going to offer new opportunities for your business. Just be open minded and be ready to adopt and adapt to your business what social media are offering (for free!).
If you need some advice or consultancy, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Wish you a successful social media adventure!

: DD.

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