The power of social media has been emerging into the online marketing scene as of late. Second in influence to Google, this new wave of interactions and connections has taken the world by storm. Connecting to others via social media platforms is so popular, entire industries are adapting to it, growing from it and catering toward it. Everyone knows where the customers reside: online. And everyone knows what the most popular websites are online: social media platforms. So the question becomes: If you know that most consumers are online and you know that most of these consumers spend an inordinate amount of that time online surfing through the website of one social media platform or another, then why are you not also on those social media websites?
You can now connect with everyone. Get on Facebook and search around. Every industry is represented. Products and services of all kinds advertise themselves to the millions of potential customers on Facebook everyday. Most of them are taking advantage of their customers gathering in one place, advertising their business and making their presence known. Now multiply the efforts spent on just Facebook by at least three and include LinkedIn, Twitter and MySpace. While LinkedIn has become a network for those in the business world to connect with each other, MySpace and Twitter remain platforms where everyone can come together to talk about anything. The age of instant information has come, where distance is a trivial matter and all things are available through the world wide web. Without spending a dime, a new business can start a website, using professional website designers and developers. They can advertise for free through social networking websites. They can help make themselves even more popular by bookmarking important aspects of their company on social bookmarking sites like De.licio.us, Digg, BizSugar and many others. The number of ways to connect with your customer base is so plentiful, that most successful businesses end up hiring people just to manage the amount of free content that is expressed through these platforms.
The basics of marketing demand that you take your message and find a way to deliver it to where people are congregated in the highest numbers, so as to reach a maximum level of saturation for your message. There can be no doubt that place is the internet and that social networking websites have done the job of ‘gathering the crowd’ for you. All you have to do is get your business on these sites and start building a following. The fact that such a powerful tool is freely available to any business or entrepreneur with an idea is amazing. The fact that every business does not take advantage of this tool is astonishing.
If you want to find customers and be found by customers, you must be online and have a presence in the social networking world. Consumers are constantly looking for more options in their lives, they want to find the next big thing and tell all their friends about it. If they cannot find you on the major traffic areas of the internet, then you are not trying hard enough to be found. Stop hiding in the practices of yesteryear and announce your self and your business with the tools available in this day and age. Social media is the new way to really interact with customers and if everyone keeps joining the bandwagon, it may soon become the only effective way.