Every business knows why they need marketing BUT do you ever wonder why you would need social media? Isn’t social media where you log-in to Facebook and look at pictures from your best friend’s family vacation or play Farmville all day? Yes, that is social media, but for businesses it is so much more powerful than tweeting you had a yummy egg casserole for brunch.

First, what is social media? Social media is the act of being social, building a community, getting to know who your customers are, their wants, and their needs. Social media is a relationship building marketing tool!

I’m the first one to tell you that social media should not replace your other marketing methods. If you have a newsletter, do print ads, blog, network, etc., you still need to do all that but social media needs to be part of the mix.

[Tweet “Social media is a two-way conversation between you and your audience.”]

Your audience is made up of past, current and potential customers. These customers want to hear what you have to say and they want to share your information with their friends. How awesome would it be for your customers friends to get to know about you? 75% of people who use social media talk about brands. It’s as high as 91% for 18-34 year olds. Source: Social Commerce Today.

Wait, I hear what you are saying, “But Jennifer, I don’t need social media. My business doesn’t need it to be successful.” I cannot say it any better than Stephen M.R. Covey from his book The SPEED of Trust. “On the individual level, the problem is that many people aren’t into the idea of continuous improvement. So they’re working in a company – maybe they’ve been there for ten or fifteen years – but instead of having fifteen years of experience they really have only one year of experience repeated fifteen times! They’re not adapting to the changes required by the new global economy. As a result, they don’t develop the credibility that would inspire greater trust and opportunity. Often they become obsolete. Their company and/or the external markets outgrow them.

The same is true of corporations that simply rely on what has been successful in the past and fail to respond to the needs and challenges of the new global economy. If corporations aren’t engaged in continuous improvement, and in some cases radical improvement, they risk becoming irrelevant and obsolete. They demonstrate the truth of the words spoken by the great historian Arnold Toynbee: “Nothing fails like success.” In other words, they keep doing the things that made them successful in yesterday’s market, but those same things don’t create success in today’s global economy.

If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less. ~General Eric Shinseki, U.S. Army Chief of Staff.”

59% said they are more likely to trust brands that integrate social media. Source: Social Commerce Today.

I would love to hear in the comments below why your business has or has not adopted social media.

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