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Social Media – Is It Bank or Bust?

While getting my daily regiment of whole-grains from my favorite cereal box I was doing a little ‘Random’ reading during my morning breakfast routine…you know, finding out how I could get the cool & special DVD if I clipped the coupons off the box. In my stupor I noticed the box had the famous blue “F” and sky blue “T” printed on the back.

Seems like everywhere you turn these days you see a follow me on Twitter or Facebook.  Some news stations even promote their account on prime time TV!  People almost seem to promote it even more than their own website!!

Social media has morphed from a fun way to stay in touch with friends to a very powerful medium that the business is trying to figure out how to capitalize.

All the BS, ‘imagine this’ stuff aside, there are three very compelling reasons / variables why Social Media is such a big topic amongst businesses small and large.

Reach, Target, & Recommendation

Reach

Reach is an industry term used in marketing to describe the number of people that the medium has, this is typically used as one of the main variables in determining the price to be charged for the service.

For example, a commercial time slot that airs during the Super Bowl is exponentially for expensive than the same spot, on the same station, during the prime time local news.  Why…Reach!  More people will see it.

So what is a good reach worth?  In my local market of Salt Lake City, Utah the average radio station has a listener base of just under 10,000 people according to the last survey I read.  Depending on the stations targeted demographic, advertising rates easily run into the thousands of dollars per month to broadcast to that reach.

Lance Armstrong, last I looked, has over 2 million followers reading his messages on Twitter.  He gets to send them a message for FREE anytime he wants.  Do the math.  What is his following worth?

Target

Targeted demographics is how marketing companies know what to send you.  They buy information about you so they’ll know what you are likely to be interested in.

Right or wrong, this is why you start getting mail immediately after you are born.  Your information is sold to marketers.

My wife and I welcomed a little boy into our family 18 months ago.  Just like clock work, we started to receiving diaper and formula mailers in the mail.  And…those ads changed from infant offerings to toddler offerings as he aged!

If you’ve experienced anything like this then you’ve probably thought to yourself, “How do they know this stuff?!”  This information is gold to businesses selling diapers and formula and the key to a successful marketing campaign in any niche.

This is one of the extremely powerful things social media has to offer.  You see Facebook knows whole lot about your interests, business, demographic and other things.  Marketing to a very targeted niche is very easy and VERY cheap when considering the alternatives.  Thus the frenzy around figuring out how to utilize it.

Recommendation

A recommendation from someone you know is, as anyone knows, so much more powerful than a random sales pitch from someone who you know nothing about.  Also know as referral or word-of-mouth marketing, this is the most powerful marketing that can be done.

Social media has the 1-2-3 punch combo that promises to be a holy grail for business BUT there is a variable that if not done correctly instantly turns all your efforts here into a massive MONEY PIT!

The venue is ‘social’ not ‘business’…and it can be very TABOO and detrimental to your reputation IF you cross the line.

So if you do it right, Social Media can be a killer marketing and PR vehicle for your business.

How do you do it right?  The secret is the “Bridge”.  You have to engage and indirectly bring people make to your business by bridging the social venue to your business venue.

This is wear the vast majority of people, even Lance Armstrong, are getting it grossly wrong.  Lance for example is dumping a ton of time into his promotion and even though he has millions of fans following him does help, he is missing out on millions upon millions of recurring revenue by not have a bridge.  Its money right out the window!

Don’t make the same mistake in your business.  Architect and build the right system that ties it all together in order to make bank and not bust your reputation in the market place.

Here’s to your automated business,

Joshua Hoopes

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