Integrating Social Media into your Current Marketing Mix

Let’s face it!  Social Media is now a staple in most people’s everyday life!  This is really nothing new, considering we, as people, simply could not survive without social interaction, some more than others.  Modern technology makes it easier to know what Betty Sue is doing right now or what JJ ate for breakfast.  In this unorthodox article, I will give you a few good reasons Social Media will boost your sales and brand loyalty.

Let’s take Facebook for example.  For some people, updating their “status” is as important as breathing air and would be mortified to know that you think he is a blabbering idiot.  People sit for hours looking at what other people have posted for the day, only to later feel like their life has been sucked from their very essence.  So, in not so many words, Facebook is a succubus.  As human beings, it is only natural to want to know what people are doing and thinking. This is perfectly normal, however; Facebook has magnified this urge to epic proportions.  This is a great example of why Social Media can work for your business!  More than 20 million people “like” business pages a day, and this does not seem to be slowing down.  With the recent Facebook controversy over Mark Zuckerberg being sued yet again for half of Facebook, I presume that Facebook will only grow in popularity over the next few months.  Facebook is cheap and easy way to integrate your business into the Social world without revealing too much about your company at one time.  This is easily regulated with a good core Social Media team or Marketing Manager/Intern.  It is also the fastest way to communicate with your customers if you are a large business.  Getting to know your customers is always a plus, and if they feel they have a presence in your companies Facebook comments, they, in turn, will be more brand loyal and, generally, happier with your product or service.  Talking to your customers through Facebook makes them feel empowered, as if you generally care about their ideas or concerns.

Now, that takes us to Twitter.  While 140 characters does not seem like enough to get the point across, it truly is my friends!  Posting more than once a day is for some is a way of life and they would not have it any other way!  They want you to know where they are, who they just talked to, and if they are outside or inside.  On Twitter, you do not have to wait for people to “accept” you as a friend, you can simply “follow” them if you want to, and know exactly what they are posting at any time.  Sound like stalking? Most Twitter fans do not mind.  They usually follow up with a generic “Thank You for following, check out my blog/website” and follow you right back whether they believe you can give them anything of worth or not.  From a business stand point, Twitter can work for you, especially if you want your followers to know if you are having a one day sale or a seminar.  Tweeting to give your followers something of worth is always the best route, although giving them something of worth does not always mean promoting your business.  If you know that most of your followers are Green Bay fans, and you know they just won a game, it would be a good idea to Tweet “congrats” to the fans.  That way they know you listen to their likes, and also, that you care about them.

Time for Foursquare.  Want to know who is a Walmart at the exact moment you are?  Do you want to compete for “mayor” of your favorite Starbucks and receive “badges” for being a store with a photobooth?  Waste of time?  I think not!  Foursquare is a great way to give frequent guests discounts on their favorite items in your store.  For instance, I like to frequent my favorite bar, and when I “check in” three times in a week, I get my first drink free!  Wow what a deal!  I am also “mayor” so everyone knows that I know “what’s up”.  Foursquare also just added a new feature that tells you where you are amongst your friends in the rankings for the week of “most points”.  So you want to be on top, go more places!  This, in my opinion, is a very good tool for businesses seeking loyal customers.

So, must Social Media be integrated into your Marketing Mix?  Hopefully this rant has led you to believe that your business will simply not survive without it.  While there surely are tons of other social media sites out there, like Yelp, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Delicious, etc, I tried to narrow it down to just a few so that you do not get overwhelmed if you are new to the whole “social” scene.  Bottom line, Social Media works!

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Here are a few pictures to stimulate the senses.