Do you understand the importance of social media and its impact? Do your co-workers? Does your boss? The study I discuss below demonstrates why your company needs to have a social media presence.
Cone, a strategy and communications company, just released the 2008 Business in Social Media which found that 93% of Americans expect companies to have an online presence. (I am not making this up.) On top of that, 85% think that companies should also interact with their customers.
Wow! That's interesting because we know that not everyone knows how to use social media applications, but they know it is important. 60% of Americans use social media on a regular basis. That number is rapidly growing- isn't your grandma on Facebook now?
We are reaching a point where customers are expecting to not only visit your website or Facebook page, but they are also wanting to connect with your business and deepen that relationship.
How do social media applications build relationships with customers?
1. They give you an opportunity to listen to your customers. Customers are already out there talking about you in the various social media venues: Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, MySpace, Chat Boards, etc. Reading their comments helps you understand your market and your product better.
2. Jumping into conversations they have already started enables you to thank them for their kind words, or make an offer to solve a problem for them. To top that off you get free feedback to improve your product.
3. Creating interactive venues - like a Facebook group - helps your customers find one another and share their great experiences.
This just a taste of what you can do. Where do you plan to find your customers?
**Update** I have been asked a couple of times about who participated in the study. When I asked how they selected participants for the study, Cone, Inc. Spokeswoman, Andrea Larrumbide, gave me this response via email: "Opinion Research Corporation selected them from a pre-existing panel of respondents. We screened for prior usage of social media."
Here's looking to another great week!
-I Can't Keep Up