Fads, we all know them and at one time either loved them or hated them. Bell bottoms, leg warmers, big hair, members only jackets, hair bands and the list goes on. They come, they go. Some come back, some don't.
There are still business leaders who think the internet is a fad. It's true, I know some of them. There's even more who think social media is a fad. Yes, social media will obviously evolve, change and possibly even become the leg warmer of the future. However, it's not a leg warmer folks. It's a platform to communicate, build community, share knowledge, find new business partners and of course grow your business.
Well fad or no fad, here are a few stats for ya'
-500 million people on Facebook
-People spend 700 billion minutes on Facebook per month
-30+ billion pieces of content are shared each month on Facebook
-24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing declines in circulations
-There are over 200 million blogs
-180+ unique users access Twitter per month
-More than 600 million searches on Twitter each month
People are not:
...using the phone book to look for businesses to call.
...searching the web for a website. They are searching Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter for information to solve life and business problems. They are looking for information to enhance their life as a human being.
...a coin operated advertising machine where you can turn them on and blast noise and expect them to take action.
...looking for information, people and businesses who can enhance their life.
...seeking community and personal connection.
...seeking to better relate to and trust the brands they buy from.
...share experiences positive or negative with their friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amplify and the list goes on!
...using Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to search for information. Yes, they still use Google but it is not the only search engine my friends! Personally, when I want real-time information the first place I stop is Twitter.
So if you are in business and if you would like to build community, increase brand awareness, find new business partners, organically increase search engine optimization and website traffic, organically attract new customers and grow your bottom line, tell me why would you not want to engage in social media? And why not at minimum would you at least not want to consider using it even if just for a test? Seriously!?
Anyone who follows and knows me knows I despise random acts of marketing (RAM), also known as RAMMIES! The best way to kill RAMMIES is by developing and executing an integrated plan inclusive of business goals and objectives. I am by no means saying you should jump into social media head first and go crazy with no rhyme or reason. In all honesty, that's the last thing you should. As much as you may want to think social media is free, it's not. It will steal away your most precious asset which is your time. The only way you are going to see a positive return in social media is to integrate it into the DNA of your business.
However, I think many business leaders are afraid to get off the potty because they don't want to invest the time, money and risk of letting the social and business skeletons out of the closet. They think hiding behind their archaic email system, banner advertisements and broken sales model is going to help them survive until the fad of social media is a thing of the past.
Would you like:
...people to tell other people in your target market about your brand, products and services?
...to grow your revenue via increased web traffic?
...to more intimately connect with your audiences?
...to increase brand equity?
...to drive efficiencies in sales, customers service and marketing?
...to increase return on investment across your business and marketing efforts?
Yes, the above benefits take work. It is not going to happen over night. Getting big hair took at least an hour a day. We're talking weeks to find those perfect leg warmers. However, if you invest in social media the same way you would for any other marketing medium, chances are you can and will see results.
In case you didn't know, there is a social party happening in your honor if you like it or not. Yup, people are talking about you, your business and your brand. Includes the good, bad and ugly. Too bad and sad for you if you think it's a fad as your competitors, clients and business partners don't. 500 million people on Facebook don't either.
Continuing to sit on the potty will do nothing but make you a party pooper as you are not participating in your own social party!
So if you are a guilty of being a "potty sitter" tell me this.... why are you still sitting on the social potty? Isn't it time you quit making excuses and maybe open your mind to the possibility that both you and your business could benefit from social media?
So will 2011 be the year you quit wining and get off the social potty? Or are you going to throw on your leg warmers, member jacket and roller skates and randomly skate your way to the post office to blast out stand alone direct mail advertisements, waste money on yellow page ads and blast noise to your audience?