Social Media, we all are familiar with the impact of social media in our life by now it is safe to say it has changed the way we connect, communicate, research and perform our daily tasks. Many blog posts, books, ebooks and articles have been written about its uses and many have tried to predict where the future of social media lies, which on itself is another vast topic to be explored.
It was initially designed to connect with family and friends, which became worldwide trend as seen today. Whether young or old, it has made its impact on every denomination. With increasing number of social media, it is also evolving with time and demand. It is no longer tools to only connect with your family and friends ,it is also a the way marketers reach you and connect with you.

Before the invention of toady’s social media like facebook, twitters, myspace etc marketing meant telling consumer what to do. With social media it means involving your consumer and listening to them and working with them in real time. Here is very good example of this two way flow of communication. The article is from by David Meerman Scott, Real-time blog post gets ELoqua CEO tons of B2B ink.

Second article is also from David Meerman Scott’s blog; you-cannot-take-back-a-tweet. I am a huge fan of his blog and work. Interesting part of this second article is, it not only gives real world example of using social media but also highlights the issues to consider while using social media to communicate. It also shows how social media was used to  to clarify the issue, while communicating with their audience. Yes social media is great free tool for marketing but at the same time when you publish your content and it is out in the web there is no way of controlling who views them or taking it back.
But when you know and understand the power of social media as a marketing tool, there is an endless possibility. Lets look into some more examples.

This interview with Sunil Gupta(Harvard Business School professor) on by Jennifer Lonoff Schiff has some great examples of how social media is used by different companies for their benefit. It also mentions very helpful tips from the people who have actually used social media to get results. I particularly liked the advice from Luongo, “Be authentic and engaging to your audience”, you want to connect with your audience not bombard them with lots of information that might confuse them or even think of you as Spam.

Important aspect mentioned in this article, “Social Network Marketing: What Works?” by Sarah Jane Gilbert is “influencer”,how marketing budget can be used to create ROI (Return Of Investment) along with viral buzz and refer a friend. Rather than investing ton of money on banner ads (though sometimes this is the only way), invest it in your influencers and let them do the marketing for you. It is less effective when you are shouting out you are the best and completely opposite when someone else does that for you. The Valentine’s day campaign for Honda mentioned in this article is great example.

All this articles addresses different aspects of the social media, whether it is for small or big organization. With the above mentioned examples, here are few points to consider before jumping into social medai band wagon.

  1. Think and carefully think through before publishing any content on the web.
  2. Clearly define and know your target audience.
  3. Identify your  influencers and make them your marketing advocates. Nurture,Treasure and guard then as your life.
  4. Good content still is the king.
  5. Have a clear vision of your business and what you want to achieve using social networking. For instance increase visibility, increase the number of sales, promote new product, increase sales etc. Once you have clear idea, design your marketing strategies around it.
  6. Do not overwhelm the consumer with information. Less and specific is always better.
  7. Keep it entertaining, fresh and updated.

Do you have an example or thought on the topic? Share it, use the power of social network.