Are you on facebook? LinkedIn? Twitter? Do you know why? What do you hope to achieve? How do you know if you are meeting your goals?
Social media has become ubiquitous with the promise of viral messaging and striking gold on the Internet. The research company, Regus, published a study in July 2010 that explored the role of social media marketing in customer acquisition. The study found that almost one-half of small businesses have successfully connected with new customers through online social networks.
• Twitter now has 75m user accounts, but only around 15m are active users on a regular basis. According to Twitter, 50 million tweets are sent a day. In 2009, traffic to Twitter.com grew around 1,100%, and total sent Tweets went up 1,400%.
• LinkedIn has over 50m members worldwide. This means an increase of around 1m members month-on-month since July/August last year.
• Flickr now hosts more than 4bn images.
• Wikipedia currently has in excess of 14m articles, meaning that it’s 85,000 contributors have written nearly a million new posts in six months.
• Youtube: 1 billion – The total number of videos YouTube serves in one day. 12.2 billion – Videos viewed per month on YouTube in the US (November 2009). 182 – The number of online videos the average Internet user watches in a month (USA).
Each of these websites offers unique networking and content marketing opportunities, but none of them are customer relationship management tools; they are businesses aimed at leveraging use of their site to meet their own business objectives, NOT THOSE OF THEIR USERS.
All of them require a clear understanding of what opportunities they offer, how they can be used to help amplify your marketing efforts and how their neglect/misuse can be a distraction to the detriment to your brand. It is critical to have a strategy for their use and an understanding of what they can/cannot achieve, what resources they require and whether or not those resources are worth the return. The possibility in these numbers seems overwhelming. But what do they actually mean in terms of strategies and tactics for you to resonate your message in all of this activity?
Fundamental to any viral success is the ability to identify groups of people to target (niche markets), understand their habits of engagement and craft an authentic method to reach them. This requires intelligence, focus and consistent effort.