Growing Interest for Social Media Marketing

I’ve noticed a buzz around social media marketing over the past few weeks.  Blogs and the media have picked up on it. Business people from various sectors are interested in the drive social media marketing can generate.  My clients want to be on Twitter and Facebook; they want to have a “community manager”.

Sure 2009 was a good year for social websites. For instance, Facebook recently reported a leap to over 300 million members in September 2009. Twitter has demonstrated growth rates exceeding 1300% earlier this year and had over 50 million unique visitors this summer.  Myspace, another big player, showed statistics exhibiting 70.2 million monthly unique visitors back in June.  No doubt there is an audience out there most companies would like to get closer to.

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This is what I say to my clients when I give tips about how to engage in social media marketing for their business:

First, listen to what people have to say. Your presence on the web has to add value to what people want to know about your product, industry or brand. If you have something interesting to say, and you are attentive to what others are saying, you can learn a lot from what your audience like or dislike about your business.

In a recent post “Feeling the Community“, Chris Brogan mentions, “companies and people want us to feel that they care about us, but they don’t, and we know it”.  The essence behind social media marketing aims at communicating the opposite of Brogan’s sentiments and wants businesses to learn from their community.  The cool thing about this approach is that consumers or fans have the right to express what they really think about you or your company. This tool is at the tip of your fingers and can become an uninterrupted source of feedback to assist you and your team in decision making.

Key ideas to retain are: be authentic, make people curious, become a community manager.