- Content Marketing
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the PlatformRise of Social Media in Ecommerce [INFOGRAPHIC]How eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Patient Opinion Leaders Are the New Healthcare InfluencersFive Online Community Types: Which One Does Yours Fit Into?Digital Communities: 5 Ways to Determine PurposeCelebrate Your Social Media Successes, but Don't Forget that Community Trust is the Key
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
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.
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.
Why Avoiding Social Media Will Hurt Your Business
Posted on January 28th 2013
Social media is essential for every business. And not because it's trendy or popular. But because it has introduced new ways to either help, or hurt your bottom line in the long run. In fact, you don't even need to see a direct ROI right now to know that every professional needs to use it. Here are 3 reasons why avoiding social media will hurt your business.
Reason #1: It's Already Happening Without You (Whether You Like It or Not)
You don't like people talking about you behind your back? You don't like being open and transparent? You just want to go back to "business as usual"? Like overly-aggressive policies and yellow page ads? Sorry... it's too late.
Social media hasn't changed the principles of marketing, but it's connected the world in a profound way that sheds light on every business practice imaginable.
For example, marketing for doctors is now a necessary evil. Because you can now see individual ratings of doctors online -- on Yelp, Zagat, and more -- in each hospital or office. And it doesn't stop at their professional record. Under Zagat's rating system, you can also see reviews of their bedside manner and how beautiful their waiting room is (or isn't).
Look up any business, in any industry, in any location, and you'll see the same thing happening. If you can't run from it, then you might as well embrace it.
Reason #2: It's Key to Increasing Conversions (Which = More Clients and Customers)
Doing business online is a little different than offline. You can't see who you're dealing with, or potentially buying from. (And you may have never heard of them before.)
So it creates a huge gap -- trust -- that you need to get over in order to increase conversions (and sell more services and products). The only way to build trust and overcome that gap is through engagement.
But you can't wait around, hoping and wishing for engagement. You need to go out there and create it -- proactively. And this is where social media shines. Every status update you send should be carefully crafted to elicit a response. So don't stop at "telling people what you're doing". But use a specific call-to-action every single time. Maybe you want someone to "Like" or "Retweet." Or maybe it's open-ended and you're looking for a simple response or story.
You should also mix it up, and take it to the next level of engagement by using promotions. These can break the everyday monotony, act as an incentive to lure people's interest, and then include viral hooks to draw more people in.
So use interactive contests (instead of basic sweepstakes) that require people to share a story, picture or video. This community interaction and social proof is one of the easiest ways to quickly build trust increase engagement with new prospects. And it sets the stage for your other campaigns.
Reason #3: It Fuels Your Other Marketing Tactics
The best promotional strategies and campaigns COMBINE earned, owned and paid media. This is has been true in advertising for years.
And online, you're seeing these three components blend together. Which is a great news, because it means you'll get better results (for less cost overall). But it also means that your individual tactics can't exist on their own.
For example, today you can't use the same bad tactics or make the same SEO mistakes and expect good results. The best SEO strategies today need interesting, engaging content that people will naturally link to. And it needs social media to make connections, and help spread or distribute your content (that's the "Earned" part we discussed a second ago).
You also need to create a brand, so people search for you by name. And you need to align your SEO tactics (like the keyphrases you pick) to real business objectives (like increasing leads or sales).
This is true no matter which tactic you rely on. You'll always see the best business results if you combine content creation, SEO, social media, advertising, conversion optimization and email marketing. Because you don't just want "traffic", "rankings", or "followers". But you need to move people through your marketing funnel that takes strangers and transforms them into loyal customers. And social media has a significant impact on every step of that process.