Social Media- The Not-So-New Marketing Source

Social media has come around like a hurricane force buzzword in the past few years.

So what’s the big deal?

From it’s beginning days of what was My Yearbook (or whatever it was called) to Myspace and now Facebook (and about 100 others…) social media is pretty new. BUT the concept behind it, isn’t so new, in fact, it is a centuries old marketing technique  From the beginning of the merchant lead world people have relied on word of mouth and the social “clout” of the speaking party to influence their purchasing decisions.

So, some would say marketing has changed, evolved over time, but I think the very core of it still exists. People talk. People listen other people’s opinions when they are in a position of authority or influence in the persons life.

Whether it be a political figure, parent or friend, the people we associate with have a influence over us, and we have an influence over them. Why else would we ask for their opinions or regard them so heavily when making choices? Why else would reviews be so important to service type businesses? (Don’t believe me? Check out the popularity of sites like Yelp and Angie’s List…)

So what does this tell us?

Social Media has opened us up to the very core of what our marketing was trying to reach to begin with. We no longer have to wait for someone to see us on an ad, be brought up in a conversation we have no control over, and then hope someone will take action on it. All of that has been put in the marketers hands!

Say you post a picture of an adorable puppy eating a treat from your company and Ben “likes” said picture. Ben may have “liked” the picture because the dog was cute, or he likes your product, or he simply has a crush on someone at your company (ha) but the point is, all of his friends now see that he “liked” your picture, therefore he “likes” your product. His mere act of clicking a button has created exponential cloud of influence for your company.

But it doesn’t stop there! Ben’s friend Jessica see’s that he likes your pictures and clicks on your name. She then “likes” your page, receiving a free coupon, or some other promotional item, and her friends then see your name across their screen.

Even further than that, your name is now in her email box, for selecting that “deal” and she has a direct link to purchase that item! Did you know that the average spent shopping online from a link on Facebook is just over $100? Imagine, that image, “liked” by 10 people, seen by each of their 50-300 friends..

How many sales could have that day or the next, just by running a very inexpensive social media campaign?

Generations X and Y, they rely on the social media realm to provide their suggestions and research before purchasing an item.

How much revenue is your company missing out on from these two generations by sticking to old campaigns built for baby boomers and their older children?

Social Media, don’t ignore it. Or your company may become as obsolete as Yahoo! and AOL are to 20 year olds.


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