How often have you wanted to harness the potential of social media but been too unwilling to commit to the changes required (i.e. still holding on to your previous mindset)? I managed to come across this Dilbert comic strip that somewhat resembles what we looked at previously about the mindset of today’s business owners and entrepreneurs in Malaysia regarding social media:
Although the comic strip may seem to have exaggerated things a little (especially when we now know most people associate social media with Facebook and Twitter) but it does carry some truth in it. Perhaps it may happen like this instead in Malaysia (adapted from above):
True, isn’t it? Most traditional businesses sees social media as merely a trend that they wish to participate in but yet unwilling to accept it fully. Little did they know that social media has grown beyond just a trend or a technology – but a lifestyle, an integral part in consumer engagement, extension of networks, and it is here to stay.
Still skeptical? Apart from just pumping you up with the potential reach of people you can be connected with, here are 5 simple reasons on why you should get started with social media for your business if you haven’t already:
1. Public Engagement
Now before you turn around click away saying that you’ve heard of this a million times already, listen to this once more: engagement builds trust, a bridge towards your brand, it creates a perception and an emotion towards it. This can become your brand’s distinguishing factor against your competitors. Like it or not, people already have perceptions towards your brand regardless.
If they’ve never heard of you before, chances are, you have to give it double the effort to convince them as compared to a brand that is already well engaged with the public and this is something traditional marketing (or advertising) can’t do.
“Traditional advertising is a 1-to-many, one-way relationship while social media is a 1-to--to-many, two-way relationship. It takes two hands for a brand to clap and that  makes a difference. That  is your tie to the mass, and also your brand advocate, your key for an applause.”
2. Earned Media vs Paid Media
Which do you prefer? People talking about you or paid to talk about you. Don’t get me wrong, paid media isn’t wrong by all means as advertorials, reviews and the likes DO WORK, even better if you have a strong influencer on your side but some business owners or entrepreneurs do have their hands tied when it comes to budgets, especially for a startup and earned media is well, free!
A little bit of time and effort will get you a long way. Think about it, where else do you have the opportunity to share your knowledge, thoughts and expertise in articles or in any other media form at no cost, with a huge base of potential non-geographically constrained readers? That’s the World Wide Web for you and all you need is just a little dedication to maintain and to promote your masterpieces!
“It is beyond just a ‘following’ online, but the credibility you build for yourself / brand / business along with it.”
3. Social Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Apart from just communicating with consumers, receiving feedbacks, support, sales and promotions, social media can also be used as an avenue for your customers to tell their story i.e. testimonials. Nothing beats a first-hand story, whether good or bad that comes from your existing customers as it will be able to attract new customers along the way!
Yes, this also means that your existing customers will be ‘selling’ your brand to their networks on your behalf, without having you to spend extra time and money to try convince everyone on the street on how good you are. It will now be customer-get-customer rather than brand-get-customer. Sharing – that’s how information travel on the social media, and it happens with just a click.
“They say sharing is caring. On social media, sharing is business.”
[PAUSE:] If at this point you’ve still been wondering:
1. On how this social media ‘thingy’ can actually do ALL of the above, or
2. Is the social media ‘idea’ too confusing? or
3. You find that I’m no longer speaking in English, then:
Check out this video I found on YouTube – explaining social media in plain, simple English and how social media can benefit you, your brand, your customers AND your prospects!
Hopefully that cleared things up better!
Okay, back to business: On to the fourth!
Unlike traditional advertising, results can easily be measured on social media. With the availability and free access to various tools such as Google Analytics, Feed Burner, number of fans / followers / friends / likes and more, one can generate a detailed report about their reach as compared to traditional means.
For example, Google Analytics (to the left) will be able to indicate the amount of page views, average time spent on your site, where they are from, how did they managed to land on your site and other information that helps you understand your readers more. This is definitely one thing you’ll never be able to obtain out of traditional means. In other words, ‘success’ is now determined based on your influence rather than reach, quality over quantity (but then again, quantity is also achievable on social media).
5. It Works
Yes. It works! Businesses all over the world have implemented and integrated social media into their business modal do have results to show! Whether it is sales, higher traffic, enquiries or feedback, it worked for them. No reason for it to fail, if you’re committed in making it happen. And no, they did not pump cash to make it work. Social media made it work for them.
Want to know how others implemented social media in their business? Hang in there as I’ll be revealing some of them right here, at janwong.my in the coming days! You may be surprised to see how these brands and businesses used social media to drive results up their doorstep – powerful yet simple. Chances are, you may just be able to replicate their success in your business!
There you go, 5 simple reasons on why social media should be implemented in business operations and marketing efforts. There are of course, even more reasons on implementing social media but in the end, the key is your mindset, perception and how far a brand is willing to go with it.
Remember, only you can determine whether social media makes or breaks your business… why go with the latter? :)
… many have made it, what say you?
How else do you see social media impacting your business / life?