The latest buzz in social media is Four Square, a social networking site that is accessed as an application through your smartphone. It then works off of GPS, allowing the application to report where you are at any given time. The benefit? If you’re dining at a restaurant and have just sat down to order, a friend can post a recommendation of what to eat, mobile-to-mobile.
Forsman & Bodenfors came up with another innovative digital campaign for Ikea by turning one of Facebook’s basic functions into a promotional tool, to promote the opening of the brand’s Malmo outpost, its most modern store to date.
When we examine social networking, you are achieving something much more valuable than advertising. You are creating referrals, testimonials and endorsements, which gives you instant credibility and a level of trust that traditional advertising simply cannot achieve.
In this recession, marketers have learned that interactive marketing is more effective, and advertising less effective, per dollar spent. While budgets for online have decreased, they decreased less than other budgets. Six out of ten marketers we surveyed agreed with the statement “we will increase budget for interactive by shifting money away from traditional marketing.” Only 7% said “we have no plans to increase our marketing budget.”
It’s been recently reported by Mashable, that the Swine Flu Outbreak is recording 10,000 tweets per hour on Twitter. This number boggles my mind. It’s amazing the viral reach that Twitter can measure (no pun intended!). However I can’t help but wonder if the power of social media could potentially inspire mass panic during a situation that is merely watch and wait? How do we filter the information coming from thousands of Twitterers to determine what is truly legitimate information? And if you are one of the truly legitimate organizations, how do you separate yourself from a pack of impassioned Twits who merely want more followers and do not have any valuable information to share?
It seems every day, I hear of another success story related to social networking and how it has a direct correlation to increased revenue. And the return on investment is usually high, considering that social media has little to no hard cost associated with it, only time. Even for those companies who opt to have a third party manage their social media on their behalf, the ROI is still high as compared to traditional advertising. That leads me to the point of this post. What’s your social media success story?
Call me old-fashioned but a part of me still believes that nothing can replace a smile and a hand shake when working with a customer. In today’s fast paced world of business, many companies and organizations struggle to leave an impression. People are inundated with information, advertising and media coming from various sources and as a consumer it can be difficult to sift through the propaganda and find the truth behind the message. As such business owners are faced with an interesting dilemma: How do you reach out to the masses yet still provide highly personalized service?
It’s time to overcome the misconception that businesses don’t spend money during an economic downturn and embrace the fact that the American entreprenurial spirit fights for survival by spending money prudently. There is no company that exists that couldn’t improve their ability to communicate more often and with more relevance to a defined target. Social media provides that opportunity to leverage brand, build loyalty, maintain relevance and reach new customers by leveraging existing customers.
As the music portion of this year’s SXSW festival in Austin wraps up, a recent article in Wired explores the use of social networking by many of the participating rock bands.