Many of today’s successful businesses have been around for years, long before the internet was a viable option in marketing a product. Although billboards, TV commercials, and radio and print advertisements have been successful in the past, they will not have the impact they once did in today’s market. Many people no longer check the newspaper for movie times, they reference online venues. Many people no longer hand-write letters, they electronically draft emails. Many shy away from garage sells when they can utilize Craigslist. While some may resist the facts, this country and the rest of the world relies on technology more and more every day. This is not something to dread or dwell upon; it is something to take advantage of!
For anyone born after 1980, it is easy to notice the growing popularity of social networks and it does not take a genius to identify the direction in which our world’s social media market’s popularity will continue to move. People from the age of 20 to 29 use social media more than any other age group, with 41% spending 11+ hours a week on social media sites. Age 30 to 39 is the next most frequent user base of social media, with 37% of them spending 11+ hours a week on social media sites as well. While the younger age groups on these networking sites will be more interested in social status, the older groups will focus on marketing and advertising. Understandably, most people have heard of Facebook, which has become the largest social networking website to date. Facebook has over 500 million users, half of which log-on at least once per day. Among the US internet populace, 72% are members of Facebook, with ages 18-24 seeing the most rapid growth. That is 36% of this country’s internet users visit a single website each day! It would be exceptionally hard to find another channel with that kind of impact. Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogs are just a few of the other popular social networks available today, all providing remarkable accessibility to a large group of people.
Social media is the fastest growing marketing tool, and any business not capitalizing on its numerous capabilities could be at a disadvantage to its competitors. Waiting around and not taking advantage of this vastly growing marketing tool is an opportunity that companies are missing. Business is ever evolving and so must marketing campaigns in order to keep pace with the competition. So then why wouldn’t someone immediately get involved with social marketing? It cannot be money, as most of these networks are free. It cannot be experience, because anyone can outsource their social marketing for dirt cheap. Most people just do not know. They do not know what it is, nor understand its capabilities. But most importantly, they are unaware of the positive economic growth it will potentially have on their company.
Social media marketing is the attempt to broadcast various forms of media over social networking technologies, plain and simple. A few perks of social media include increased exposure, increased lead generation, gaining of new partnerships, increased traffic, and marketing cost reductions. On average, 88% of marketers using social media have reported increased exposure for their business. Almost half of these individuals who employed marketing tactics through social media for 12 months or less reported new partnerships gained. Users who spent 6 hours or less per week saw their lead generation increase, and 58% of small business owners using social media marketing were more likely to see marketing cost reductions.
The internet is providing this world with new products, capabilities, and tools that have never before been possible. Social media marketing provides the ability to potentially influence hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people for a fraction of the cost of outdated marketing methods. It is the responsibility of today’s businessmen to focus on the future of every market and the direction it is heading. Social media is a wise investment for almost any company and will be more beneficial the earlier it becomes integrated within a company’s strategic initiative. Social media networking is only going to grow, and my best advice at this point is to establish your brand as soon as possible through these means.