I was chatting with Mick Dickinson of BuzzedUp.co.uk yesterday, discussing how the landscape has changed in marketing trends, particularly with regards to social media. Mick’s particular case, from a few months back, was of an “old skool” marketing guy failing to keep up with the times.
This resonated with an experience I’ve had just this week with a client who employs my SEO and digital marketing services; after agreeing to provide my client with a well-rounded package, to include setting up a twitter account, they stated that they were still “nervous” of the social media aspect of marketing.
That’s a fair remark, although slightly unexpected considering the excellent relationship the client and I have – Any aspects of the industry that the client doesn’t understand are explained clearly and concisely, often with a practical demonstration of the subject at hand to clarify the processes. I’ve even shown them the potential ROI they can achieve from leveraging social media by illustrating how they can increase their brand awareness, drive traffic to their website and convert traffic into custom.
Despite this, it seems that the client will need just a little more reassurance. Ultimately the choice is theirs as to whether or not they utilise social media but in this case the phrase “don’t knock it until you’ve tried it” seems to hit the spot.
And then, with incredible fortune and good timing, first thing this morning an email turns up from Econsultancy regarding the Customer Engagement Report 2011. The full report is a healthy £250 but there is a sample report available. However, not being one for immersing myself in expensive and lengthy reading when there are gems to be gleaned in a more financially efficient and optimal fashion, the important piece of information is right there in the article summary, and I quote:
More than half of companies (54%) are planning to invest in social media as a customer service channel.
Without being a resounding victory for the case for social media this little pearl of wisdom does indicate an encouraging degree of seriousness on behalf of businesses to invest in social media. Saying that, I did clear out an account yesterday of nearly 200 “dead” twitter followers using the excellent ManageFlitter tool, although this is probably more in keeping with the old adage “it ain’t what you’ve got, it’s what you do with it.”
Personally, social media has always made sense as an additional and/or alternative channel. We still have snail mail and the option to pick up the phone and engage with clients and providers. Email is still hugely important to businesses reaching out directly to their customers and the use of mobile (for anything other than actually talking) is apparently on the increase (Again!)
But just as “every business should have a website” or “every business should have a business blog” it seems there is a place now for social media with further anecdotal evidence that twitter and facebook seem to be “here to stay”.
So, are you still nervous about using social media for your business?