I was recently doing research on a client for an upcoming meeting. I did the usual searches utilizing all the electronic capabilities at my disposal. I searched in detail, Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the like. I discovered that this business had in the past used social media completing multiple tweets and providing updates on Facebook. The client had been using social media regularly and then suddenly it all stopped.
In our meeting I had to ask, what changed? The response was somewhat surprising to me in that he said that his clients didn’t use social media so he stopped. I didn’t really think much about it until several days later when it hit me, his clients didn’t use it then! That was a year and a half ago. What about today, or tomorrow and sometime in the future. What about potential new clients?
While it may seem as if Social Media is a new phenomenon, Twitter (5 yrs.), YouTube (6 yrs.) and Facebook (7 yrs.) have been around for a while. It wasn’t until recently that organizations began to figure out that this wasn’t a passing fancy or the latest fad. Many companies are still trying to understand the full impact that social media technology can have on their business. But if the trends are any indication, companies are learning very quickly. A couple of years ago, Social Media wasn’t considered a very “corporate” activity or even deemed appropriate. Today it is a different story and companies are actively using and embracing social media. According to a recent study on the use of Facebook, 66% of the Fortune 500 had Facebook pages. Compared to 71% on the Inc 500. (The fastest growing companies in the USA) The level of engagement on Twitter is high, too. Three in five, or 60%, of Fortune 500 companies have a Twitter presence. Over a third use it regularly to interact with the public using @ replies or re-tweets. Blogging is also coming into fashion. Although related to the blogging aspect, the Inc 500 is embarrassingly way ahead of the big guys with almost a 3-to-1 margin. And don’t forget YouTube as more than 50% have at least one YouTube channel. Approximately twenty percent of the Fortune 500 companies use all four social media platforms.
Selling or acquiring customers today takes a different mind set. According to a recent study, companies acquire 70% of the information they need to make a purchase or select a vendor before they even engage with a particular company or sales person. Today’s internet savvy buyers have their mind made up before they buy. The study also indicated that only 3% of sales people utilize the power of social media.
Is your company utilizing the power of social media? If no, why not? Think of social media as the uber corporate cocktail party. Social Media can help your company engage with customers, build new relationships and create a pool of advocates talking positively about your brand. Harnessing social media tools to boost sales and connect with customers has become standard operating procedure in Corporate America. Shouldn’t it be part of your plan?