The Inevitability of Social Media and What It Means for Your Business

9/29/2010

- Andrew Wetzler, President

I have often wondered how a finite series of ingredients can produce such a diverse set of results.

For example, in its most basic form, pizza is a combination of dough, cheese and tomato sauce. How is it possible that pizza can taste so different in each restaurant, with some being so much better than others?

Music is another example. How, setting vocal talents aside, can musicians create such a wide spectrum of sounds while essentially using the same equipment? That differential often translates into popularity and explains why certain bands draw crowds to amphitheatres while others struggle to fill lounges at Holiday Inns.

We all know that baking great pizzas or creating beautiful music doesn't happen by chance, even though on the surface the processes seem deceivingly simple. There are a ton of nuances and customizations that occur which differentiate the best in class (pizzas and bands) from everyone else. This same logic applies to Social Media marketing.

Social Media is singlehandedly altering the landscape for marketers in a more significant way than anything since the dawn of the Internet.  As a result, scary or not, the playing field is as wide open as it was in the earliest days of websites and SEO; and the opportunity to make a lasting impact is genuine.  While the customer engagement possibilities through social channels are exciting, the SEO benefits that a well executed effort can deliver are incredibly meaningful as well.

The best marketing advice I can share is that there is no book to read in order to figure out how you can best engage your target audience through Social Media. Doing so requires a roll-up-your-sleeves, experimentation-minded approach that needs to be customized to your industry and business.

Blogs, Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. are available to all of us. The playing field is incredibly level and the same uncertainties exist for everyone. If you could fast forward a year or two, you would see that some folks in your industry have invested the resources to create highly profitable culinary masterpieces, while others have settled for Chef Boyardee.  What's your path?

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