Why is there such an effectiveness in social media?
Truth is, so many people are tired of "marketing speak." Social media allows companies to relate to one another and bypass the fluff.
Let's take a look at what the online definition of social media, I've chosen to use the definition from wikipedia since it is user generated.
Social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. Popular social mediums include blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs.
The definition alone should reveal to you how important it is that B2B companies explore social media marketing channels.
In a recent study done by Knowledge Storm of B2B technology decision makers the following statistics were revealed:
- 90% Participate in Video
- 80% Participate in Blogs
- 80% Participate in Wikis
- 69% Participate in Social Networks
- 53% Participate in Podcasts
In the same study it was shared that of 69% of B2B buyers use social networks "primarily for business networking and development."
Social media enables you to :
- Share your expertise and knowledge
- Tap into the wisdom of your consumers
- Enables customers helping customers
- Engages prospects through customer evangelism
Why is it so effective?
Three reasons that are particularly attractive to small business and other entrepreneurs: low impact/annoyance factor, cost effectiveness, and a viral spread of information.
1. Low Impact (and therefore low annoyance factor) :-
In the same way that email rapidly replaced telephone contact and so called “face time,” blogging, Twitter, and Facebook are replacing other more traditional forms of marketing, and for the same reasons.
Emailing became the norm for the “sender” of information because it was easier (both physically and emotionally) than making a phone call or meeting with someone in person. Email grants immediate completion and instant gratification: No getting a busy signal or, worse, an answering machine or voice mail inbox that required you to leave a message (wherein you might say the wrong thing and not be able to erase and re-record) and no having to carry on an unscripted conversation with someone in person (wherein the same dangers were ever present). The receiver was equally blessed by the ability to respond (or not) at his or her leisure and with the same assurance of faux pas-free “conversation.”
Social Media does the same for marketing by freeing the marketer to place his or her “ads” at any time, around the clock, 24/7, rather than to some PR office or publisher’s schedule, while simultaneously granting the target audience the ability read/view and/or delete at will instead of having to dispose of or recycle the publication, and all for the low, low price of . . . well, nothing.
Which naturally leads us to reason number 2.
2. Cost Effective (’cause it’s free!) :-
Well the section header pretty much says it all. You can’t get much more cost effective than “free,” and all of these Social Media Marketing venues are just that. Free as the air you breathe ~ which, by the way, is how many viruses spread.
3. Wherein a Virus can be Your Business’s Best Friend :-
Remember the “water-cooler” metaphor above? Years ago, in the traditional brick and mortar model of business, the water-cooler was the place where employees would gather to socialize during breaks, exchanging pleasantries and information, introducing the “new guy” to the old guard, telling jokes and showing off pictures of their pets or the new baby.
Long after the physical water-cooler had been replaced by bottled water, “hanging around the water-cooler” remained a metaphor for the casual meetings and conversations that took place among people in the physical spaces of a business environment. Whatever the place, the close physical proximity inherent to “hanging around the water-cooler,” made it equally easy to pass along a cold or flu bug with the jokes and those pictures of your little ones.
As it is in the physical world, so is it in the virtual, and it is in this way, especially, that Social Media Marketing is effective. Facebook is an especially good example of the virtual “water-cooler” inasmuch as people “meet” there and exchange information (including jokes and pictures of the fam) and provide the perfect growth environment for
spreading a “virus” in the form of word-of-mouth marketing.
It’s little wonder, then, that adopting Social Media Marketing is a good idea for your small business. And it’s kind of comforting to some of us, after all, that even here, in the virtual business world, we can find in these new fangled technologies an echo of tradition and a sense of continuity that is familiar and reassuring.