No choice but to get tangled up in the web
Businesses will have to embrace social media or risk falling behind
As one of the founders of Smallbusinesscan I try to stay ahead, or at least on top, of the thinking on social media.
Understanding the speed at which things change is important and I make a point of reading up as much as I can.
Recently I've read two books on the subject; Socialnomics and The Mesh. I have also reviewed them for radio.
I got carried away and used the word crap (twice) and advised listeners not to read them.
I now admit I might have been wrong in some respects of what I said.
Methinks I did the subject of social media and its impact on business a disservice.
Rather, by focussing on how bad the two books are (and if you have read a few on the subject of social media, you will know exactly what I mean), I should have explained that social media is not 'an option'.
Companies have to embrace it.
It's not a choice of whether you will do it, but a choice of how well you will do it.
I give you two statistics:
- One trillion (one million million) devices are now connected to the internet;
- If Facebook was a country, it's population would be smaller only to China's and India's.
I should have mentioned social commerce, social search and social media as the new inbox (e-mail is outdated; ask a teenager). These are developments you cannot ignore as a company.
Anyone who has been given any education in marketing will have been taught about the power of word-of-mouth and the importance of reputation.
Social media is word-of-mouth on digital steroids and reputation (=trust) is everything in social media.
Only 17% of people trust advertising and 50% of internet users would consult a blog before purchasing. Have you taken that into account with your current marketing and sales plan?
For you to get a fix on where social media is going and what is available as possible channels for you to engage (and boldly go), I would highly recommend that you have a look at the conversation prism of Brian Solis ( http://www.theconversationprism.com/).
That should give you a head start on designing your new marketing plan.
PS: marketing plan is probably not the right word anymore.
Word of mouth plan? Social media plan? Engagement plan? These are just some of the terms.
Any suggestions on a catchy phrase would be very much appreciated. You can get in touch by visiting smallbusinesscan.com.