Rewind back in time to when you were about to make an important purchase. Whether it was a new brand of toothpaste for your dentally challenged children, a new state-of-the-art cell phone or a new or used auto, you went through a well thought-out researching and buying process. Initially you gathered general information online and then you did the most natural thing of all, you turned to your own trusted online social network of friends, family and co-workers to gain a more intimate look at living with the new product or service. After all, many have already made the same purchase and who would know better its benefits and shortcomings?
New studies say this is even more prevalent behavior today as consumers are more concerned with earnings and expenses, more skeptical and much slower to pull the buying trigger in our down economy. We are all doing more with less out of necessity, so it is essential that we do what we can, to save time, frustration and money. So, while word-of-mouth recommendations were always important, the amplification of these messages on social media, combined with a slow economy, now show these messages are more heavily weighted than ever. (Even if you don’t take into consideration that humans are social creatures by nature, that we crave acceptance and approval, and… the only thing we like better than getting great information is giving it!)
Basic Social Media is Fairly Simple
We value our network of friends, family and co-workers, and those that have already completed the buying journey we are about to begin can help us learn more, in less time and given that disposable income is less plentiful, everyone wants to make sure we are making the best investment possible with our hard earned dollars. We want to hear directly from our social network gurus, what they purchased, if their purchase did what it was promised to do, if they were happy with the purchase and… if the company behind it actually backs their brand. It is a lot like the scouts in the old west who went ahead to look for a better route for the rest of us.
Social media is the most wide spread electronic form of word-of-mouth advertising and its usage has now skyrocketed into the hundreds of millions. And, while many traditional marketers may fear this vehicle is only for the young in age and heart, the fastest growing group currently on social media is ages 54 and up.
Finally… a Chance to Showcase All Your Best Benefits and Your Happy Clients
Well established organizations with a reputation for under-promising and over-delivering are finding this form of viral marketing to be the most credible media, bar none, as buyers continue to shift buying habits to survive these challenging times. For many start-ups and emerging organizations, with small ad budgets, social media can provide more opportunities per dollar invested than any other form of marketing.
Social media is for every organization, as it does not discriminate by the size of the firm or the budget; it is an equal opportunity mega-media that helps companies, non-profits and governments, of all sizes, market from a level playing field. And for many, it is the first time they can compete with much larger players in their industry. Whether you are a small brick and mortar, a national, or an international firm, a well thought-out social media strategy can work just as well… providing no less potential for a local mom and pop business than an international conglomerate.