- Content Marketing
When Your Customers Become Your Contributors: Brand Journalism Meets TraditionalGoogle Is Changing the Close Variant Matching Option in AdWordsBefore You Invest in Online Advertising, Do This!Native Advertising: The New New Thing or a Race to the Bottom? [VIDEO]
Technology & Data
Data and Creativity at the Social Shake Up: Defining Your Data-Driven Social CampaignTalking Strategy and Data with Shannon Lee of Precision StrategiesNew IBM Study Reveals 3 Key Characteristics of the Most Successful CompaniesMinority Report: Confronting Privacy Issues in Big Data Gathering
- Tech & Innovation
- marketing automation
Social Startups: Moment.me Captures a 360-Degree View of The Social Shake-Up 2014Hootsuite Partners With Syracuse University to Bring Social Media Savvy to College StudentsThe Best Hyperlapse VideosThe Best Content Moderation Tools for Busy People Who Don't Have Time for That
Social Change Agent Survey: Passion, Skill Set, and Persistence Lead to Career GrowthThe Social Shake-Up Attracts Wide Breadth of Brands and IndustriesThe Social Shake-Up: How CMOs Drive Innovation and Revenue GrowthThe Social Shake-Up: The Future of Social Business
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Recap from the First-Ever Employee Advocacy SummitFormer IBM Senior Advisors Launch Brands Rising to Build Employee Advocacy ProgramsPerformance and Risk Management Through Social Media TrainingEmployee Advocacy Summit: Advocate Stories from the Field
- Customer Service
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
The Future of Social Media and Business
Posted on April 26th 2012
The future of social media is evolving and consumers have increasingly turned first and foremost to digital media, both at home and on the go. Beyond just social media, customers are deeply engaged with products and services across the entire digital space—and it’s by choice. They’re using multiple outlets to ask questions, give feedback and share and connect with others, and dictating when and where they interact with products and services. And as a result they’ve come to expect a response from businesses at all times and from everywhere. But what does this mean for businesses going forward? Quite a lot, actually.
We’ve entered into a new era in how we interact with our customers. It’s no longer enough that a strong marketing initiative will turn consumers into customers. If brands want to stay relevant in the digital era, they have no choice but to adapt. Social media is more than media - it’s a cultural shift. While conventional wisdom holds that people don’t want businesses to encroach on their personal lives, that’s far from the truth. Many customers today are utilizing multiple outlets, not just Facebook and Twitter, to ask questions, give feedback and share and connect with others, and are personalizing their experiences whenever possible. 40% of consumers have become a fan of a product or service on social networks, 26% of consumers have followed a brand on Twitter, and 73% of consumers have posted a product or service review on websites like Amazon or Yelp. That’s why today 80% of small businesses are using social media to handle their marketing and sales.
But just being on social media isn’t enough. For businesses to digitally connect with today’s customer, they must not only stand for something but also do something. To have an impact, businesses have to find other ways to connect with customers to turn them from passive reactors to advocates. One of the significant drivers in social media for businesses is engagement - using digital media to connect with people, hear what they want, what they think, how a product or service worked or how it didn’t. Think about what resonates with your audience and whether or not you’re posting “clickworthy” and compelling content that will raise awareness and get attention. The other significant driver in social media is customer service. Many consumers following brands are also customers, which is why smart businesses are using helpdesk software to solve customer’s problems and answer questions instantly. Also, some businesses like Starbucks and American Airlines offer exclusive deals and tips to their digital audiences so they can drive awareness and sales.
The future of social media will offer many exciting, new opportunities for businesses to connect with their customers. That’s why today’s businesses must rethink their future strategies and shift most of their marketing efforts towards engaging with customers. No business is going to strike out by opening the lines of communication with its customers and marketing to them in a personal, caring way that makes them feel valued. Positive brand experiences creates customers, and experience not only matters to customers - it drives results to the bottom line.