Social Media – “To Be” or “Not To Be”? Good question!

January 19, 2011

These days, it is almost a given that in addition to a company website, business owners are also setting up shop on many of the popular social networking sites.  These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, WordPress (where this blog is being “hosted”) and many, many more…Whew!  Seems like a daunting task for somebody to “manage” all of those. 

Right now, you may be asking yourself:  Why bother?  Why do I need to be on Facebook or YouTube when I’ve already paid some designer a whole bunch of money to create my company website?  The answer is simple…Trust.

If you are like me, you probably value the opinions and recommendations of friends and relatives – Especially when it comes to buying products and services.  Let’s face it, people talk.  If your friend tells you that he/she had a good experience with a particular product and you are in the market to purchase a similar product, you will probably end up buying the same product your friend recommended.  Why?  Because you TRUST your friend.  Why would your friend steer you wrong or lie to you?  Generally speaking, people TRUST their friends, more so than they may trust any advertisement.  No need to do any further “research” before my purchase…No sir…If it’s good enough for my friend, it’s good enough for me.  This is the basic marketing principle behind social media.

Facebook, for example, currently has more than 500,000,000 subscribers and growing daily!  No, this is not a typo…I mean more than a half a billion – that’s billion WITH A “B”!  If Facebook were a country, it would be the 3rd largest on the planet (behind China and India).  That’s a whole lot of people “talking”.  In addition, Facebook’s “population” is made up of more than 96% of “Millennials”.  Millennials, an abbreviation for millennial generation, is a term used by demographers to describe a segment of the population born between 1980 and 2000 (approximately). Sometimes referred to in the media as “Generation Y,” millennials are the children of the “Generation X” (children of the post-WWII baby boomer generation).  These are the people that will, over the next 20-30 years, be purchasing your products and services if you are currently running a business.

Statistics show that a business starting up today is much more likely to exist 5 years from now if the business actively participates in social media networks.

Of course, if you are going to be on a social networking site, you had better consistently offer a darn good product or service!  Again, people talk.  Remember that old saying “It only takes one bad apple to spoil the entire bunch”?  Now I don’t know about “spoiling” the entire bunch, but trust me when I say, if you have one “bad apple” as a result of your customer not having a pleasant experience using your business, people are going to know about it!  Are we as business owners ALWAYS perfect?  No.  Do our customers ALWAYS have a good experience?  No.  Are there some people out there that can NEVER be “pleased”?  Sure.  But don’t you think those peoples’ “friends” know that they are high-maintenance or “difficult”?!?!  The key here is consistency!

I may be dating myself, but do you remember the old Faberge Shampoo commercials on TV back in the early 80’s?  If not, you can check it out here:

In the ‘olden days’ when that commercial was released, word-of-mouth ‘advertising’ was the most effective form of promotion a company could be involved with.  Well, guess what?  It STILL is…however ‘word-of-mouth’ has been taken to the Internet via the social networking sites and messages are spread virally this way.

Our message to our friends spreads like a virus…we tell our ‘friends’ (sometimes numbers in the hundreds) and they tell their friends (another several hundred) and so on and so on…

Get my point?

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David Lecinski is one of the founders of Windy City Voice Talents located in Chicago, Illinois and the Casting Advisory Manager for Voice123.  David is also a voice over artist and does voice overs for IVR, radio & TV ads, Flash movies & presentations, documentaries, eLearning, audiobooks, social media advertising – you name it, he voices it!  For more information, please visit http://windycityvoice.com

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