What is your company’s policy on social media? Do you know what your employees are posting online, or even, if you are legally allowed to voice your opinion about it? What about your company content and messaging from within your organization…who is responsible for approving your messaging, and for what content are you as an owner liable?
The social media revolution continues to provide incredibly powerful opportunities for your business, but with these opportunities, comes responsibility and liability. To begin, here are 10 facts for social media marketing:
- The percentage of companies using social media for marketing is projected to reach 88% in 2012! Do you have a social media plan in place?
- 70% of consumers go online first to find local business information. How is your SEO?
- If Facebook were a country it would have the 3rd highest population in the world! How many “friends” do you have?
- 69% of consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information available on a social media site. What social media outlets do you use for your business?
- YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Does your business have a YouTube presence?
- Only 14% of consumers trust advertisements – 78% of consumers trust recommendations. What are your customers saying publicly about your business?
- 75% of social networkers are over age 35. Did you think social media was just for kids?
- 20% of Tweets contain a reference to a product or service. Is anyone tweeting about your products or services?
- There are more than 70 million business professionals on Linked In. How connected are you and your team?
- 40% of Facebook users – that’s more than 200 million people – become Fans or Followers of brands and services. Who “likes” your page?
The internet has changed the way we do business on every level. Sales and marketing strategies and tools are constantly evolving as technology advances, and social media is no different. It’s an outlet for you to communicate directly with your clients – past, present and future! It also provides an outlet for anyone to say anything about your business at any time.
Honesty and branding standards are critical to a successful social media marketing plan. Remember fact #6: 78% of consumers trust recommendations. Ask your best clients – as you feel it’s appropriate – to leave comments about their experiences working with your business on your Yelp, Google, Linked In and other profiles. These testimonials are priceless, and they speak to a limitless number of potential clients.
You can also create awareness by illustrating your expertise through a blog. You can post video clips to YouTube to demonstrate new products. You can simply use your blog as a way to communicate with consumers regularly and keep your business in the minds of potential clients and strategic partners. Let them know what’s going on in your world and provide ideas on how they can solve problems they are facing.
There are endless ways to use social media to market your business. Do your research to determine what the most effective route is for you, and create a plan. Don’t forget to also be aware of your liability in the mix of this excitement. With so much access, you could have David Beckham endorsing your product in no time, but you would also have a sizeable lawsuit on your hands.