Social media has become the game changer in many aspects of life today. Businesses and organizations have been reluctantly forced into using this medium. Others have embraced the benefits offered.
In its simplest form, social media has changed how people connect with friends, family and businesses. However, it has also changed the world by helping topple governments and shape society in an instant.
It has become the defining technology of our time and presents an opportunity like no other.
Some argue about the degree social media has impacted business. Still, marketing trends show how consumers are willing to interact with and voice their opinions about brands they are familiar with.
People are accessing social networks on a daily basis, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Youtube. They are also spending a considerable amount of time using these services and have been making their opinions count.
What opportunities exist in social media?
Perhaps one of the most prevalent uses of social media is how it provides a voice to consumers. People voice their opinions on social networks and can successfully influence a company or a brand.
Marketers are seeing how people who interact with companies and brands on social networks tend to purchase more from those companies or brands they follow on their social networks. “Liking” a product leads to more purchases from friends as well.
People are also more likely to become involved in some form of social action when they see something posted by a friend. Comments, “Likes” and shares tend to make their way throughout several social streams. This can result in an item going viral, presenting an amazing opportunity (and risk) to a company or brand.
One of the more important opportunities presented by social media comes from the ability of companies to reach out, engage and communicate directly with its customers. Engagement builds relationships which develops a trust between consumer and business.
It’s from the relationships developed in this manner that provides opportunities.
Social media also provides consumers a means to compare products, pricing and to interact with real people who have firsthand experience with the brands. People like to talk about sales they’ve found, features of a product and how beneficial it has been.
It presents an opportunity to offer discounts or practice participatory marketing such as 10% off your next purchase if you follow us on Twitter.
What are some of the opportunities you see from social media? Do you think this can give a business a competitive advantage?