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Social Media! What's all the hype about?

by M. Le'Mont

Corporations are spending big bucks to attract more customers. During the first 3 quarters of 2010, the top businesses spent over 90 billion dollars in advertising fees through traditional media.  General Motors spent 4.2 billion dollars while Ford was right on their heels spending 3.9 billion. Citi Group and Hewlett Packard,   spent 1.6 billion and 1 billion, respectively.  

The cost of acquiring customers is now compared to (MLB) Major League Baseball's cost of acquiring baseball players. The New York Yankees has a payroll of over $200 million, twice as much than MLB team's average  payroll of 91 million. 

Corporations are slow to budget for Social Media 

The only thing that matters in baseball are wins.  Teams are willing to pay bigger salaries to get more wins. The New York Yankees spent 2.1 million dollars per win, while the San Diego Padres only spent 420,000 per win.  

For baseball, does spending more money on players translate to more wins?  And for corporations, does spending more money on advertising translate to more sales?

Corporations are now trying to find out what works with Social Media before pouring billions into the latest craze. Social  Media has a worldwide audience that gives corporations more bang for their bucks.  Billions of things are chatted about every day on-line where anyone can listen and participate. Some companies have representatives to listen to conversations 24 hours a day and are ready to  pounce on an opportunity to be of service, while other companies monetarily reward individuals for referring  friends that buy their products.
Companies are learning How ti Interact with customers on-line

Consider this real life situation on Twitter:  a potential customer had been tweeting about a moving company, and a competitor U-Pack representative responded to the Tweet.  

 U-Pack, “@customer Sounds like you’re planning a big move? …”

Tweeter:  Anyone ever use U-Pack Containers?

U-Pack: Would love to help you move.  Please let me know if I can help!   

Tweeter:  Well it looks like you're moving me to SF.  Glad to see you have a Twitter account... makes me know there is another way to get help.

 U-Pack:  That's awesome to hear! We try to stay very active on our social accounts. Let me know if you have any questions!  

You must engage with customer without being pushy..  By just simply giving information, the customer made made  sales decision.  Consumers on Social Media sites like to make inform decisions and not to be sold.   Many companies get on the Social Media bandwagon looking for instant sales gratification.  But it's just not happening. Social Media is about building long-term relationships and leading with value instead of "push marketing. 

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M. Le'Mont is a writer, network marketer, and internet strategist.

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