Why Social Media Is Important.
The Evolution of Communication
Social media has been a catalyst for change, and not just in the way that companies communicate withprospects or customers, but also how they do business with them. Internet usage and social media haveforced businesses to be transparent for two reasons; one, anyone can ﬁnd out what ever information theywant about a company with just a few clicks, and two, unhappy (or happy) customers can share theirexperiences and feelings about a company at light speed, and to a bigger network. If understood, andleverage correctly, social media can have an enormous affect on business. Social media was immediatelypicked up by marketers as the next big way to get their message across, but the opportunity is so muchgreater, and the differences between social media, and every other channel of communication are vast.
The old communication system is (because it’s still used) a monologue.
The old communication system consists of oversized postcards in your mailbox, magazine or newspaperadvertisements, trade show booths, eBlasts, and billboard, but times have changed. These old forms of communication are all about “pushing: out a message–and hoping it sticks (to something, anything!), butthese outbound marketing and communication techniques have proved to more and more ineffective, for tworeasons:1.People receive over 3,000 messages a day, and are getting better and better at blocking them out.a.Only 14% trust advertisements, and 90% of the people who can skip commercials, do.2.The Internet presents a quick and easy way for people to research, learn, converse about products, aswell as shop for products or services.a.This is now where consumers and business buyer begin their purchasing process.Outbound marketing has become a system based on interruption. It’s a monologue that is message drivengiving consumers no choice and in fact, inducing the stress of bombardment.
The new communication system is a dialogue.
Studies have shown that most people (78%) trust the recommendations of other consumers, overadvertisements. The new communication system is made up of inbound marketing tactics encompass newmedia (social media, blogging, wikis, video, newsletters, etc) and is a permission based model, a dialoguefocusing on discussion, where the messages are collaborative and social, not loud and un-relevant. Here’show:Inbound marketing enables the consumer to control how they want to receive messages, in what format,and when, so they become more engaged in a deeper relationship with the brand (that enable thisexperience) because of it (i.e. RSS, blogs, social media, social bookmarking, websites, widgets, etc.). Inorder for a brand to have this deeper relationship, they must understand their consumers, speak theirlanguage (not that of the marketing department) and provide value to their lives (for free!). They have to proveto consumers that they care about their well being before they care about the sale.