I first came to know about Facebook the day my wife called from the beauty parlor requesting me to harvest her tomatoes in Farmville. Today, even to know whether the maid will be coming or not, we check status updates and post even our deepest secrets on our walls. The most talked about word in the world starts with F and ends with a K and it is not another term for copulation. Buddies, welcome to the second largest country in the world Facebook!
By the time I could boast of a reasonable number of friends in FB the world evolved and morphed. Through Blogs, You-Tube, Stumbled Upon, Twitter and what not, to such an uncanny monster that pinning it did not mean pasting a Playboy Centerfold on your cubicle wall no more.
Then the third punch was delivered on the solar plexus. The phones became smarter and all the action shifted from the laptops to the hand held devices. And to make matters worse for ancient mariners like me on the wrong side of forty, these young geeks have spurn the surprise called Social Media. You have to be there, make your presence felt and sell your stuff worth their tuppance.
While converting myself into a facebook friendly fiend, I found a few interesting tidbits from the far corners of net. I’m sharing them in the hope that they will help other un-geek, uncouth like me. As for the strategies and techniques that winners are deploying – let me test them real time (I already am), add some wisdom of experience to the brash bursts of youth and make them palatable enough for sharing. Hang on.
01. The top 5 Social Media Tools
The top five are Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Blogs, You tube. Yes, in that order. However, Google + is fast catching up and is expected to topple the cart very soon.
02. The Top Question everyone is asking
What is the best way to calculate the Return on the Investment that I make in Social Media marketing? Fair enough. People are looking for tools to measure and industry benchmarks to use as yardsticks. Yes, we know that there is the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But where does it end?
03. What are the top 5 benefits of Social media marketing?
The top five in the order are: Increasing Exposure, Increasing Traffic, market insight, lead generation and development of loyal fans. Social media is no magic wand. It takes time to sink in and only those that are using it for more than three years, in percentile terms, have reported significant increase in sales. Besides, cutting both ends, increased users also reported a visible cut in their total ad spend by embracing social media.
04. Which way are marketers going?
Internet spending has already driven television spend up the wall. Social media is obviously going to make things worse. In the years to come, expect more You-Tube led advertising. Facebook will continue to rewrite the laws of marketing and Google Plus will do a rookie. Twitter, blogs and photo sharing too will attract increased flow of advertising revenues.
05. Video’s killed the Radio star?
No, this is not the death knell of print advertising. However, the very fact that they are now using barcodes to push the traffic to the websites is a sure example of breathlessness in their traditional fields of excellence.
06. What time is good time?
What is the ideal amount of time spent on social media marketing that will bear fruit? The answer is there ain’t one. There can’t be one. Suffice to say, the more time you spend the better will your results be. As more integration will lead to more exposure and increasing returns.
07. In house or outsource?
The overwhelming trend is to keep social media exercise in house. As even one employees mistake in the social space is capable to going viral within minutes thereby causing untold damage to the reputation of the company, entities are weary of outsourcing. However, there are good and great outsourcing options available out there.
08. Where does one start?
Start at the very beginning, by having a social media policy. Every entity should have it. As without a well drafted and comprehensive policy, employees using social media, even privately, will not know what to divulge and what not to share. For that matter how much company information they can share in the social space without causing harm.
09. Which department bosses over the social space?
The Company Secretary, the Head of Corporate Communication and the Marketing Department are already fighting for domain mastery. Ideally, I would have a separate department where the boss can take inputs form others for specific information to optimize the efforts.
10. The meek shall inherit the world?
That sure was a printing error – the intended message being the “geek shall inherit”. Social media is already here and is poised for exponential growth. Jump on board before Noah decides to set sail.