We can talk about the allure of social media all day long. Odds are, if you’re reading this – you’re a believer in the social medium as an effective tool to network, share information, and build relationships. There’s virtually no limit to the amount you can learn or number of friends you can make online. With a little time and effort, anyone can become an ‘internet celebrity’.
Businesses are starting to catch on. They’re seeing social media as a viable marketing option for their company. Companies who have been taking a traditional marketing approach for years are finally realizing the added value of online PR: The ability to pinpoint and target specific demographics combined with the transparency, interaction, and personality social media adds to a brand – it all sounds great. But as much as people want to believe in social media, most still don’t get it.
So what does that mean? They’re finding people who do “get it” – you and me – to step in and launch their company into the web stratosphere. While some companies outsource their web-marketing approach, the (smart ones) are bringing someone in house. They want someone who is saturated within the company culture, products, and people – believes in it – and can effectively engage and interact with the target customer community.
Getting your company 5,000 Twitter followers sounds great, 1,000 RSS subscribers for your blog looks impressive, but what does that add to the bottom line? Your CEO wants to know, “Why am I paying you if you aren’t providing me with tangible results? If social media isn’t making me any money, what’s the point?
Not unlike other mediums, social media is a tool. A valuable and extremely interactive tool – It helps you talk to people you otherwise would have never had the opportunity to. It can provide that first step in lead generation – allowing potential clients and customers to get to know you before REALLY getting to know you. It gets people in the door – and through analytics management, is highly measurable and customizable. Not to mention, there is an extremely low overhead, one person in house can go a long way. In short, it’s a supplement, a new approach, and another piece to the marketing puzzle.
I leave the floor open for discussion: What are the unique benefits of social media and web marketing? How does the web compare to other more traditional forms of advertising/PR (print, TV, radio, etc)? How do YOU sell social media?