I'm going to play Junior Attorney for a couple of minutes and argue the case for making social media an important part of your business plan. Tomorrow, I will argue the case against. Then we'll put it to the jury.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury,
Why should your company embrace social media as part of your overall strategy and daily activities?
Buyers feel empowered now. They want dialog with you and with their peers about you. They don't want your marketing message; they want useful content. They don't want your mass marketing blasts; they want to find you when and where it's convenient. These things are all possible via social media. They are difficult without social media.
Remember e-mail? That was a pretty big deal as it started to catch on. It's still with us, but more and more, it's about Facebook and Twitter. It's about staying connected more often and with less overhead. Think e-mail without the in-box. Social media is rapidly gaining ground as a preferred tool for business collaboration and research as well. I learned just about everything I know about social media via blogs and Twitter and Facebook. We will still want face-to-face, telephone and e-mail for more formal, private communication, but everything else is social these days.
You can generate more qualified leads and increase sales by leveraging social media. You can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty by staying in touch with them more regularly and without the hassle of telephone or the delay of e-mail. You can make a big splash by going viral with a great piece of content. On the flip side, you can monitor what people are saying about your brand and engage them where they are. You can avoid problems by testing the waters before releasing the official version. You can even perform market research without hiring a market research company. If you're not at least monitoring social media, you may be missing serious negative publicity that's circulating about you right now. You're missing an opportunity to set the record straight, which can lead to a PR disaster.
No, it's not cheap. There's a big investment in manpower and training to do social media right. You can realize cost savings by reallocating marketing and communications budgets. Instead of paying for an expensive TV ad with no shelf life, you can invest in people who do social media. These people will keep the benefits coming for years to come. You can also save on customer service by creating real-time channels for customer interaction with little or no software and infrastructure costs. It's also possible to improve productivity and morale by enabling your staff to collaborate both within and outside the corporate walls.
Tomorrow: The Case AGAINST Social Media
Are you convinced?