A few years ago many people still saw social media as a fad, and rightfully so, it wasn’t completely established as a quality marketing medium. However, the adoption rates by companies’ marketing efforts are rising and so are the amount of time consumers and other businesses are spending online.
So, is social media right for your business? The simple answer is yes.
Benefits of Social Media
Minimal cost – Because social media is based (mostly) on free platforms, the only resource you need is time. When compared to the cost of other mediums (TV, print, PPC), the cost is minimal.
Established expertise –By sharing your knowledge of the industry you work in via social media, your end users will begin to see you as an expert and will more quickly develop the trust necessary to do business with you.
Online Reputation Management & Customer Service – People will talk about your brand whether you are online or not. If you want to monitor what people are saying, you simply need to be connected. Social media can serve as reinforcement to your brand’s evangelists and also serve as a way for you to reconcile to your brand adversaries.
Competitive research – You are able to quickly and easily see not only what your competitors are doing, but how the market is responding to them.
Word of Mouth/Creating a Buzz – Social media users love to be the first ones sharing about a new product, idea, situation, etc. They are active on social media because they want to be part of the buzz. By sharing your news on social media you can allow your following (fans, friends, connections, etc.) to spread the word about the product.
Instant Feedback – Not only to social media users love sharing new brands with their friends, they also love to let the brand know what they like don’t like. If you aren’t sure how your audience feels about a specific idea, ask them!
Connect on an international level – Because social media is global in nature and many people connect with a wide geographical variety of people, the buzz about your product can quickly spread internationally.
Build relationships – Marketing communications is no longer one sided. Social media opens the opportunity to converse and build relationships with your following.
Lead Generation – This increase in ability to build relationships will likely generate more leads.
Increase traffic to your website & SEO – Not only do the links and content you post via social media increase your sites’ traffic, they can also benefit your SEO efforts. Unfortunately, some of the biggest networks (Facebook, Twitter) don’t do much for SEO, but platforms such as Flickr, Digg, YouTube, and many others can greatly increase your search result rankings.
More accessible – The more ways an individual can find out a business, the more reputable you will appear.
Direct access to specific niches – As social media became more popular, organizations began creating ways for specific niches to build online communities. There are many unique networks that are highly trafficked by individuals with similar interests (here’s a list of some of the popular ones).
The benefits of social media are only increasing as the current networks are improved and new ideas and networks are brought into the shuffle. To avoid this marketing opportunity could be very detrimental to the success and sustainability of your business.
Case Studies: How Social Media Impact Businesses
Because a social media strategy is dependent on the industry you are in and the audience you are trying to service, I have compiled links to a wide variety of case studies for you to check out.
- Pink Ponies: The World’s Best Case Study Video
- Disney (Step Up 2 The Streets)
- NOKIA: The8N8 Twitter Campaign
- Yahoo!’s Yodel Anecdotal: Read. Comment. Repeat.
- H&R Block Friends Stressed Out Taxed Americans
- Cannes Cyber Lions: The Winning Case Studies
- Re-introducing TV Guide Through Online WOM
- Einstein Bros. Bagels Gives Back to Fans With Bagels and Shmear
- Sony Ericsson Xperiments Case Study
- Sony drives approximately 11,000,000 million
- Online Collaboration: A B2B Case Study from cbanc
- Volkswagen Fox: Twitter Zoom Campaign
- Kohl’s Inspires Colorful Mom-to-Mom Conversation on CafeMom
- Lacta Chocolate: Facebook Campaign Case Study
- Why Cirque Du Soleil LOVES Word of Mouth for Pre-Show Awareness
- Eloqua: Building Momentum through Social Sharing and Content Giveaways
- Curating the Long Tail – Purina’s Pet Charts
- MS&L Gets Students Buzzing About Its NY Intern Challenge
Know of any other case studies, want to share your own, or have a comment? Share it with us!