Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and now Google+ have recently begun being utilized as marketing and communication tools by businesses, when just a few years ago, social media wasn’t even considered a business approach at all.
Today, social media has become one of the top priorities for marketers. A survey from Forrester Research Inc. and Shop.org found that 72% of retailers plan to spend more on marketing via social networks this year than in 2010.
Finally, businesses are starting to realize the value that social media holds in this day and age.
So what’s all the hype about?
Well, social networking sites provide a new way for businesses to interact with consumers like never before. Putting your brand on social networking sites exposes your message to millions of individuals. Facebook recently reached 750 million users, and the newly launched Google+ population has already exploded to 10 million. If those numbers don’t represent an opportunity for businesses, then I don’t know what will.
Social media personifies companies. It gives your business a personality, allowing you to join the conversation, engage consumers, receive feedback and measure results. It’s about building opportunities through dialogue that otherwise wouldn’t have existed.
Also, having a presence on social networking sites can help boost SEO, as both Google and Bing have increasingly integrated social media into their search results.
Clearly, social media is a valuable tool for businesses, so whether you run a mom-and-pop shop or a large corporation, the tools of social media can absolutely contribute to the growth of your business.