It’s hard to believe it’s been nine years since the first YouTube video was uploaded. At that time few people had heard of Facebook or Linkedin; and Twitter, Instagram and Google+ didn’t even exist. But, as this three minute video shows, social media has invaded almost every aspect of our daily lives.
- Over 50% of the World’s population is under 30, BUT, the fastest growing demographic group on Twitter is grandparents – so whether you’re targeting the young or old, you’ll find them on social media.
- 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media – this is happening whether or not your business has a social media presence. People exchange ideas, ask and give recommendations and can be very forthright in their online comments. Additionally, a negative comment about a business on social media can be quickly shared with thousands of people, with disastrous results. Here’s an example of how not to handle negative comments. Some strong language in the Amy’s Bakehouse story.
- 90% of people trust peer recommendations, while only 14% trust advertisements – any money you’re spending on ads may be better invested in managing your social media profile.
Before you rush off and sign up for every social media site you can find, it will pay to do some research to find out where your customers are and go there first. If you don’t know where to start, here are some tips based on what type of business you’re in.
If you sell to consumers with a high volume of transactions (hospitality & retail) – you may want to use Facebook and Foursquare for check-ins, so your customers can tell their friends about you. You can also use Foursquare to run promotions.
If you sell to consumers with a low volume of transactions, usually high involvement purchases (cars, holidays and professional services) – you can use Facebook, Google+ for business and a blog to establish your authority. Linkedin is also a great place to showcase your professional credentials and to network.
If you sell to businesses mostly – you can use Linkedin for networking and build your authority through regular blog posts.
Regardless of your business type, I recommend everyone joins Google+, not so much for the social media aspect, but for access to the other essential Google business tools: Places, Analytics and verified authorship for your blog.