There was a time and place when social media was just chat rooms and im’s; a way to keep up with friends or family. Marketers barely paid attention to social media because it seemed that there was no way to truly capitalize on it. However, that has all changed in recent years. Marketers have found ways to benefit from social media. In fact, to borrow a line from Disney’s Hercules, social media has “gone from zero to hero in no time flat.”
Social media is being embraced by many marketers, especially since they can advertise and track R.O.I. In fact, the headline of a recent article by DMNews caught my eye, “Social media gaining on traditional marketing.” According to the article, many marketers are moving marketing dollars from traditional media to social media. Social media is getting results and that’s where the advertising dollars are headed.
Social media isn’t just about cold turkey advertising, it’s about relating to the customers and fulfilling their needs. Think about it, people are following tweets online for sales, but also to find out the newest gadgets and share their stories of success or failure with a product. Facebook is allowing companies to run sweepstakes, contests and free coupons on their Facebook pages, in order to increase their fan base. Digg is rolling out more ad options, AIM shows advertisements on your AIM buddy list when you’re logged in, and blogs allow companies to share information with consumers. Social media offers marketers and companies a plethora of ways to communicate with consumers.
The new wave is here and it’s social media. For those who have been slow to get involved, now’s the time. I like to think of social media as the horse and car scenario. At one point, mostly everyone traveled via horses and then the automobile came out. There were some skeptics, but with time the automobile gained acceptance. If you look out your window, do you see a car or a horse? My point exactly.