Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on January 27th, 2009

Social Media Survival 101

manoman_0.jpgI have been always been an advocate for proactive business-consumer interaction, and strongly encourage my clients to engage their target market through social media, when appropriate. Social Media is finally starting to turn important heads towards its impact and benefit for businesses as discussed recently in a post by SEO Wizardry Blog: “Can Your Business Survive Without Social Media?”

The Wizard, the appropriately named author, investigates the issue from two different business perspectives: What is the impact if the business does not initiate a Social Media Program? What is the impact on the business from initiating a Social Media Program? The Wizard concludes that Social Media will have a positive impact on your business, and the risk factor of a Social Media Program is very close to zero as you can get in a business environment. However, the benefits of Social Media seems to be based on perception rather than quality marketing research. To counter the lack of quantitative support, The Wizard bases most of his conclusions on a few recently completed surveys calculating the value of Social Media, as well as the perception of its benefits. Read on for some of the results.

Coleman-Parkes Research discovered 84% of North American companies feel they require new methods to engage consumers, which include Social Media. Results also show that 60% of Americans use Social Media. Of those 60% of Americans, 93% indicated that businesses should interact via social networks.

Consumers surveyed indicated businesses should use Social Media to:

* Solve Problems – 43%
* Obtain user feedback on product and services – 41%
* Enable consumers to interact with the company brand – 37%
* Market to consumers – 25%

A survey complete by Coleman-Parkes Research for Avande an IT consultancy firm provides feedback on a number of issues from a business’s perspective.

Barriers to initiating Social Media Programs:

* Lack of understanding by Senior Management 58%
* Negative impact on employee productivity 49%
* Fear of unknown technology 58%

Companies currently using Social Media reported the following:

* Improved Feedback 78%
* Improved Customer Satisfaction 66%
* Improved Customer support 71%
* Increased Sales 40%
* Improved public perception of company 75%

Within the survey completed for Avande were some general statements which must be considered:

* 52% of respondents stated “Companies that fail to embrace social media technologies for business purposes will be left behind.”
* 78% of respondents stated “As we enter a possible economic downturn we need to focus on new ways of communicating with customers which add real value.”
77% of respondents stated “If they did not initiate a Social Media Program Social Media would enter the company by stealth.”

The Wizard concludes that in order to stay competitive and connected in the business environment of today’s society, you must invest in Social Media Programs or risk your business being left in the dust of history books. Do you want to change your business with the ever-changing world? Here at Volacci, we love the Internet, Facebook, Google, MySpace, blogging, Twitter, Skype, podcasting, etc. Volacci is a (very) fast growing online marketing company committed to becoming the world leader in marketing profitable websites by turning customers into raving fans for ourselves and our clients.

Volacci. Your Profit. Our Passion.