Everyone loves it when they make the “news” and the local paper writes about their business.
Now, with Facebook, You Tube, Twitter and other online communities, or your blog, you’re making the news and telling your own story.
And your fans and customers respond in a conversation.
I call it “Social PR.”
Instead of filtering your message through reporters and “experts” — you’re communicating directly to a community.
It’s like PR in warp speed.
Instead of a cycle of a days or weeks — your news gets spread in seconds. It’s like sending out a press release five times a day, each one just 140 characters.
This massive, global, two-way conversation is called Social Media. It’s here to stay, my friend. And it’s turning the world upside down.
Facebook now reaches 1 billion of the most influential, affluent and connected people on Earth — in 70 languages. And 70% of Facebook users are outside the US. (Today it’s estimated that 2 billion people, more or less 1/3 of the planet, have access to the Internet.)
Now the numbers are so massive that social media can no longer be ignored.
Hey, social media is the media.
Social media is now also the best way to reach and influence the “mainstream” media.
Social media now gives you unprecedented, direct and immediate access to celebrities, Venture Capitalists, investors, reporters, CEOs, politicians and influential people of all kinds.
If you’re not using Social Media to promote your business, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to find new customers, fans and relationships.
Social media is the most effective marketing and web traffic building tool – ever. It is increasingly the most important, customer facing marketing tool in your arsenal.
WHO READS THE NEWSPAPER?
Today, with the rapid disappearance and shrinking of “mainstream” media, (like newspapers and magazines) you can’t rely on press coverage and ad campaigns to announce your product or ideas anymore. Most millennials do not read newspapers — the audience for print is not just aging, it’s dying. The new generation cut it’s teeth on cellphones and computers.
WHO WATCHES TV?
Nobody under 70 it seems to me–they watch shows on social media, like YouTube, Vimeo or pay per view like Netflix. And they discover what to watch from friends on social media.
WHO READS EMAIL NEWSLETTERS?
Most people are too overloaded and ignore them. Email gets stuck in the spam filter. If you get a 2% response rate you’re lucky. Why bother? If you’re customer is over 50, I recommend email marketing. If you want to stay in touch with your existing customers, email is a good adjunct to a social media Fan page or group. Otherwise it’s a waste of time.
JUNK MAIL AKA SNAIL MAIL?
Paper is almost obsolete. The majority of our shopping and commerce now happens online. When’s the last time you learned about something new in the postal mail?
BILLBOARDS, POSTCARDS, BROCHURES?
Face to face, personal “social networking” is more effective than ever as a way to cut through the clutter. And it’s an excellent way to drive your customers to your website, Facebook fan page or sign up for your email newsletter to stay in touch. Billboards, trade shows, festivals, speaking enagagements, events — all great ways to get photographed, video taped and then spread around on the social media.
TRENDSETTERS AND EARLY ADOPTERS ARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
In order to influence and seed consumers and “early adopters” who will be the first to sign on to a beta programs, try a new product or embrace revolutionary ideas, it’s critical to reach them through, and be seen and heard on the “emerging media” or “social media”.
This is where the trendsetters, hipsters, cutting edge early adopters and most technologically agile people have historically hung out, talk about what’s new, and spread ideas to their friends and colleagues. This isn’t new — it’s been going on since the eighties when “chat rooms” like the Well pioneered what evolved into today’s Internet and social media.
Social media is where the mainstream media get their story ideas and learn what’s new.
These social communities are now as important as newspaper, TV or radio coverage and can be highly targeted.
“Social media” includes:
- Your website (hopefully a blog loaded with “Social Share” buttons, links and automated, syndicated feeds to Twitter and Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube — and not an old, 1990s-style, static website) is the hub of this integrated social media strategy.
- social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, Google +, WhatsApp, Instagram.)
- social bookmarking sites (like Digg and StumbleUpon.)
- blogging sites (Like Tumblr, WordPress and Blogger.)
- e commerce – Etsy, Ebay, Amazon — these are also social networks.
- group buying/discount sites (like Groupon, LivingSocial, BuyWithMe.)
- customer review sites (like Yelp, TripAdvisor.)
- video sharing sites (You Tube, Vimeo, Twitter Vine and Viddy.)
- photo sharing sites (Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram.)
- radio talk show networks (“podcasts” like Personal Life Media, Progressive News Network, Visionary Culture Radio and Blogtalk Radio.)
- Internet music and radio (Pandora, Spotify, SOMA-FM.)
- event networks (Eventful, We Know, Daily Candy, Upcoming, Zvents, Eventbrite, Craigslist, Meetup, Going., Plancast, Socializr. Evite.)
- professional networks (LinkedIn, Ryze, Thumbtack, Labor Fair, TaskRabbit, MeetUp.)
- vertical, niche social networks for your market (ie for LOHAS they include: Architects of a New Dawn, Waccobb.net, Children of the Light, WiserEarth.)
- Yahoo Groups, Google Groups (these closed email lists can spread your product, workshop, event or idea to highly targeted niches. They are powerful for music festivals, conferences, events, yoga, dance and workshop promotion.)
- Facebook and LinkedIn groups – in high tech, these groups of early adopters and enthusiasts are critical to the success of a new product. For other businesses, such as Fashion, Design or Green, specific networking groups are highly influential, and often have their own social pages.Related articles