Marketing traditionally is a very one-sided conversation. Even in the digital age, with banner ads and SMS offers sent to your phone, there often is very little room for conversation; for consumers to offer feedback and share their opinions. Each day, more and more tech savvy consumers are entering your markets, who often will be taking to their blog (little known fact: 20,000 blogs are started every day) and Twitter to talk about their life, opinions and musings, which often can include brands.
You see, social media gives everyone a voice. Instead of being squawked at by your television set, or being bombarded with Netflix pop-ups (yeah, we said it…) when you’re trolling your favorite site for worthwhile news, consumers are now able to broadcast to the masses, just as marketers have in the past, via social media sites. But, more importantly, they are able to join the conversation. And, that’s exactly why social media, and social media marketing, are here to stay. Because, just as much as brands will always need their voice, people will crave their share of attention, too.
One of the first reasons why it’s important to recognize that it’s better to start on social media sooner, rather than later, is three-fold:
1. You’ll miss out on participating, and potentially leveraging, all the conversations surrounding your brand.
2. Joining later, will only make it harder to cut through the clutter and gain a sizeable audience.
3. Social media has a learning curve, and is always changing, so it’s important to get familiar with it and learn what works before your competition even starts.
You see, online, whether it’s to your face or behind your back, people will talk. But, in order to lead, manage or capitalize on those conversations, you need to be there. Even more importantly than being there, is knowing the medium’s norms, culture and language and having a distinct, yet flexible strategy in place.