The next time someone at your company balks at the effectiveness of social media, throw out this stat: According to a new study by Chadwich Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies, 60% of Facebook fans and 79% percent of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend those brands after becoming a fan or follower. They're also more likely to buy the brands they follow or are a fan of.
While social media marketing is still a relatively new concept, it has proven to be a popular and inexpensive way to grow sales. Why? Because participating in social media effectively tells your customers two things:
1) You are concerned about their needs and wants.
By giving your audience a platform to interact with your brand, you are essentially saying, "There are people behind this company, and we're here to listen to you." You're also allowing your consumers to talk amongst themselves about their experiences, which boosts your credibility as a company that encourages free form conversation about your product or service.
Also, if you monitor these discussions, and respond to complaints in that arena, instead of waiting for customer service calls, you show that you really care about their satisfaction. You also solve their problems in a public place, which shows their friends that you're a company who cares about its customers.
2) Your company is in touch.
While Twitter and Facebook may seem like it's on the cutting edge, if your company isn't participating in them, you're more likely to be considered "behind the times." Let's say a customer searches for a product or service and has narrowed down their choices between two companies. They see your competitor's Twitter feed and Facebook pages, while yours are noticeably absent. Which one of you appears more relevant and in step with today's society? The customer is much more likely to choose the company who proves that it is current.
Don't think your customers are using social media? Do a search for some of your customers on Facebook. You'd be surprised at what you'll find. For example, the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is women between the ages of 50 and 60. While they may not seem like likely users of social media, the fact is they're there, and companies who want to reach them are doing themselves a disservice by staying away.
Anymore, a Twitter account and Facebook fan page are two things that are expected from every company. Those who actively participate in social media will assume that if you want to speak to them, you'll use at least one of these tools. If you neglect both, you're essentially saying you don't need those people, or that they don't matter to your company.
Posted on Mon, April 26, 2010
by Brian Waraksa