"Social media marketing is here to stay" could very well be chalked up as the understatement of the year. Social media marketing has been on the rise for the past several years. Even so, there are still a lot of small businesses and corporations who continue to drag their feet on "getting social".
It is a new age where corporate reputations can be transformed in an instant, as consumers harness the power of social media to expose wrongdoing and vent their disapproval in enormous numbers. BP is just the latest in a string of global corporations who had to face social networking ire.
Others, such as Toyota and Goldman Sachs, have been forced into overdrive to repair damage resulting from perceived wrongdoing-often at immense cost and significant damage to their reputations. What makes these crises different today is that corporations are fighting to protect their reputations on all fronts, particularly online, and the challenge is getting more complex as millions more people sign up for Twitter, Facebook and the next generation of social media services.
The example of the month for Internet reputation management problems is British Petroleum. Their massive oil spill off the coast of New Orleans, an already-embattled city in a struggling state, has caused a reputation problem the likes of which have not been seen since Enron.
Twitter and Facebook continue to be the most used social media marketing tools by marketers, according to a new survey. Recent research shows one in four adult users of social media is now willing to lash out at companies online.
Twitter appeals to people due to its informality. Facebook has now passed the 500 million mark and although it is popular, it's popularity in business application remains to be low. However, many business leaders are still failing to make the connection between protecting their reputation and being prepared to actively engage with their customers online.
More than ever before, people are using social media as a game changer to create major tremors across the corporate landscape. Whether it is to lobby Apple for its failure to respond adequately to the iPhone 4 product quality issues-which led to $9.9 billion being wiped off the company's value-or to ridicule BP for its ongoing problems in the Gulf of Mexico, social media's impact on corporate reputations and business strategy is increasing.
As a small business owner, isn't it time to jump on the bandwagon?