Social Media Marketing and your business!

So we’re all talking about Social Media Marketing! It has become such a buzz word! Obama’s social media strategy is mentioned with reverence by every marketing expert out there. Business owners are fascinated and want to learn more about how they can benefit from Social Media Marketing.” (And I find myself more and more sought after to speak about Social Media Marketing.)

But the bottom-line question asked by businesses is “will I be able to create new business by marketing on social media websites?”.

My answer is very simple; Yes!

Here’s why I believe it does.” In my humble opinion, marketing as a strategy doesn’t really produce any Return on Investment (ROI).” There are no real statistics available on whether the super bowl advertisement for Audi (or any other automaker) generated enough sales to make the advertisement worthwhile.” However, and inspite of the economic downturn, companies like Audi, Budweiser, and many others still went ahead and spent “marketing” dollars to showcase their company in front of millions of super bowl viewers.” Why? I mean why would companies spend millions on a super bowl ad if there is no direct ROI to be computed?

They do so because it allows them to continue with their branding & positioning in the market-place which leads to a “buzz” about them. This branding, positioning, and buzz, leads to new traffic to their website which in turn leads to conversion. (Didn’t you Google the Audi ad immediately after viewing it during super bowl? Or didn’t you Google to see which ads were the most popular during super bowl?)

A similar strategy of branding and positioning is required when marketing a product or service through social media websites.” Additionally, through discussions and conversations, a “buzz” has to be created which in turn will either enhance or create brand identity and eventually create new business opportunities.

This buzz is so much easier to create through social media websites because they are frequented by millions and provide real time interactions.” Companies can stay in touch, be visible to customers and prospects, proactively manage or change perceptions, and receive real-time feedback to gauge reactions towards new products and services.

Social media marketing is new age marketing and it is powerful.” If done properly, it can lead to new business opportunities at a much lower cost (than say placing an ad during the super bowl).

So the question shouldn’t be “will social media marketing generate new business”; the question should be “can you afford to not use social media websites to generate new business”?

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