Core to marketing is communication. And social media is now the dominant communication vehicle in the world. But despite that indisputable fact there are still businesses (and business people) who refuse to get involved, whether through stubborn ignorance or sheer dogmatic arrogance.
Businesses who think it’s a flash in the pan. Businesses who are afraid their customers might just (publicly) talk back to them. Businesses who are stuck in the past. Businesses who might genuinely have no place in the future.
Last week I used Facebook to arrange a meeting with a client, Twitter to discuss a joint pitch opportunity and Google+ to issue a press announcement. One of our Winter Camp businesses had their first hot sales enquiry for the training of a lot of people via Twitter before our 4 week course in how to maximise its use for marketing purposes had finished. If arranging new business meetings, generating leads and discussing business growth opportunities are not enough of a reason to be involved in these social networks, I don’t know what is.
The thing is, I’ve never believed Facebook or Twitter are destination sites (like MySpace and Bebo were). I always saw them as highly sophisticated communication tools.
I didn’t start using Facebook and Twitter because they were “social”, I started using them because they enabled me to communicate with a lot of people, simultaneously and therefore save me an inordinate amount of time. Just like our mobile phones contain our address books and enable us to connect at the touch of a button, so do Facebook and Twitter.
I spend time on Facebook and Twitter because they enable me to interact, communicate and contact people when it is convenient for all of us. And that’s the underlying key to their success.
Unlike the phone or a text which is an interruptive force in our lives, people log in to Facebook and Twitter when it suits them and respond in their own time. That’s why people like it so much. They are in control of both the incoming communications, and the outgoing.
So if your business currently has only a telephone number, fax number and email address, you are cutting yourself off to literally millions of customers who tweet, facebook and G+ their way in the world.
Why would any business person in their right mind, cut themselves off from the marketplace?
You may as well save yourselves the time and stress of business failure and shut up shop now. Or take half an hour out, hop on those sites and try them out.
It’s free, and costs nothing but your time and an open mind.