It’s understandable why there’s so much buzz going around Social Media nowadays. Millions of consumers like me are already so deeply immersed into social networks, UGC and brand channels that it’s part of our everyday lives already. In fact, if I had 15 minutes of free time, I would not think twice about spending it online in the social media space: log into my accounts on Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, Flickr, Multiply, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogger, WordPress, Yelp (whew – did I miss anything?) and before you know it, the 15 minutes had stretched into an hour, or maybe even longer. Last year, a study called Never Ending Friending (commissioned by MySpace, Isobar & Carat) confirmed that majority of users really would check out social networking sites if they had 15 minutes of free time.
What does this mean for marketers?
First of all, it tells us where we can find our consumers (and consequently, where we should be spending more media money). Second, it tells us that consumers don’t just join these networks for the sake of joining. Consumers actually engage in conversations, build relationships, and spend hundreds of precious online minutes on social media. And last but not least, it tells us that marketers should be doing the same thing because whether we like it or not, social media is now a major part of our media mix.
But what’s next? – That’s the question we have to keep asking. What do we do after we set up our profiles, blogs, pages, brand channels? Aside from making sure that there is always fresh and relevant content, we can now use this medium to communicate with the consumers. We do not want to be the static “friend” who never updates his or her site. We want to be the brand/product/company that has a dynamic, cross-functional, multi-connected presence.
Profile set-up? Check. Build community with friends and fans and followers? Check. Content-rich, constantly-updated page? Check. Time to start socializing? Yes, please. Because the next thing that marketers need to do is be part of and herald the ongoing conversations in the social media world.
So next time you have some free time, think about how you can continue to leverage the power of social media to help your brand or company. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out those Facebook updates too.