An eye-catching statistic released by comScore this past February stated that, “9 out of 10 Internet users visited a social networking site each month in 2010.” That means companies active on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube are interacting with businesses and consumers resulting in increased website traffic and generation of new leads. Inbound marketing provides a competitive advantage to companies that understand how to interact on social networks.
At a recent conference I asked a room of about three hundred, “How many of you have looked for a business in a Yellow Pages book in the past month?” Less than ten people raised their hand. What do you think happened when I asked how many looked for a business in the past week using Google? Nearly everyone in the room raised their hand. Ten years ago hardly anyone in the room would have heard of Google. (They opened their doors in September 1998.) In less than fifteen years the entire landscape of marketing has changed.
Our means of communication changed with emerging social media channels. Remember when email first came on the scene? I remember my first reaction. Why wouldn’t I just use the telephone? Today, email is my primary means of business communication.
I’ll admit it took me some time to embrace social media channels. I had never been on Facebook even though for several years others had asked, “Scott, where is your Facebook profile.” My turning point was reading David Meerman Scott’s book The New Rules of Marketing and PR. His explanation of why we should communicate with instead of the traditional method of forcing our message into the daily schedule of busy individuals made total sense. I recommend his book to anyone who has thought, “Why do I want to know what some teenager is doing at a traffic stop using Twitter?” That was my idea of Twitter in 2010.
Today, I understand how Twitter is used by businesses to drive traffic to a company website, or to increase traffic at a tradeshow booth, or to announce new product releases, or to “retweet” pertinent content to business associates. Twitter is only one of several relevant B2B or B2C social media channels a company can utilize to communicate with clients and potential clients.
If you do not engage, as a business, others in social network communities you are losing ground to your competition. Your competition is engaging your clients and prospects on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Why? Because today in 2011 that is where business people interact.
I decided in early 2011 that CSW Corp had to adapt. We learned early on that many of our clients and other companies we interact with know they should be engaged in social networks but haven’t taken the steps or worse used social media channels as another vehicle for traditional advertising.
CSW Corp’s One idea Blog will share valuable information regarding inbound marketing (using social media channels) and promotional product ideas. Browse our website. CSW Corp is about doing it right and we would appreciate your input. Join us on the journey.
Scott F. McFadden, Ph.D. is President of CSW Corp.