As one of the founders of Smallbusinesscan I try to stay ahead or at least on top of the thinking on social media. Understanding the speed in which things change is important and I make a point of reading up as much as I can.
Over the last week I read two books on the subject; “Socialnomics” and “The Mesh”. Also reviewed them for Newstalk on the business breakfast show. I got carried away and used the word “crap” (twice) and advised not to read them. I might have been wrong.
Me thinks I did the subject of social media and its impact on business a disservice. Rather on focussing on how bad the two books are (and if you have read a few on the subject of social media you will know what I mean, “crap” is justified ), I should have explained that social media is not an option. Companies will have to embrace it. It is not a choice of whether you will do it, but a choice of how well you will do it.
Will give you 2 statistics;
- 1 trillion (one million million) devices are now connected to the internet
- If Facebook was a country it would only be smaller then China and India
I should have mentioned social commerce, social search and social media as the new inbox (e-mail is outdated, ask a teenager) as developments you cannot ignore as a company.
Word of mouth
Anyone who has been given any education in marketing will have been taught about the power of word of mouth and the importance of reputation. Social media is word of mouth on digital steroids and reputation (=trust) is everything in social media.
Only 17% of people trust advertising and 50% of internet users would consult a blog before purchasing. Have you taken that into account with your current marketing and sales plan?
For you to get a fix on where social media is going and what is available as possible channels for you to engage (and boldly go) I would highly recommend that you have a look at the conversation prism of Brian Solis (http://www.theconversationprism.com/). That should give you a head start on designing your new marketing plan.
PS Marketing plan is probably no longer the right word. Word of mouth plan? Social media plan? Engagement plan? Any suggestions on a catchy phrase would be much appreciated.