Originally seen as a fad, social media marketing is now an integral component of 21st century business. Is your business on board?
You need to look no further than America’s most successful companies and social media itself for proof. According to research from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 97% of the Fortune 500 use social media marketing and sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. It works, and they know it.
These companies tell their story, network, recruit, stimulate word of mouth and engage with key stakeholders — all on social media outlets.
Yet given this mainstream adoption and an emerging breed of social commerce, I see many business owners making this same critical mistake with regards to social media. They think they can ignore it.
Social media is nothing more than a form of electronic communication where people go to share information, ideas and messages on the Internet. That’s it.
Without getting too technical, the forms of communication (i.e., content that is shareable on social media) consists of many types. The range expands from articles, blogs, texts, messages, pictures, polls, sounds, surveys and videos, to various file formats: jpeg, png, html, WAV, MP3, MP4, etc. And, if your business is international, you may even be looking into WeChat as a form of social media marketing and outreach.
97% of the Fortune 500 use social media marketing and sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram
The sheer variety adds to its hypnotic charm and attractiveness. In fact, there is an entire social media universe made up of hundreds of social networks beyond Facebook where people go to connect, communicate and form a community.
Check Brian Solis’s Conversation Prism 5.0 to see if your business is visible in the social ecosystem.
Economically speaking, social media serves a fundamental purpose of bringing together
The size of these networks is growing.
LinkedIn boasts more than 500 million members across 200 categories and territories. This includes more than 40 million students and recent college graduates — the fastest growing demographic on LinkedIn. What a talent pool for businesses firms!
The numbers for Facebook are even more staggering. According to the latest SEC filing, Facebook is used by almost a quarter of the world’s population. This equals 1.94 billion monthly active users (MAU) as of March 31, 2017.
Another interesting fact is that 100 percent of the 30 companies listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average all have a Facebook Business Page. Do you? If not, why? If so, are you utilizing it to its full potential?
In today’s competitive landscape, business owners no longer have margin to sit on the sidelines. Competitors and emerging players leverage the power of networks to grow revenue, market share and influence.
It’s time to play hard. Take a page out of the social media marketing playbook from America’s top companies and act. Granted, an effective social media campaign takes time, effort, commitment and ongoing feeding. Clearly, this is a struggle for most business owners managing the daily demands of clients and attention.
However, continuing to ignore social media for business in the digital age we live in puts your business at risk. Avoid the most common of all social media mistakes — be seen and heard by the people who matter.
For more information about valuing your company’s online assets, including social media, check out this article.
Tina Powell is CEO of C-Suite Social Media, a digital marketing and social media consultancy for the financial services industry. A dynamic leader with more than 20 years of experience, Tina works with leaders and thought-leaders to help them build strong brands and find their voice via social media.
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