Archive for April 8th, 2010

Social Media: Connecting Us To The World

Written for Wakefly.com in April 2010

Two or three decades ago it would have seemed impossible for a local business to be seen global. Or to have an audience in a part of a world which you had never visited. True, the internet eased up communication for businesses but Social Media added a whole new dimension to it. It allowed businesses, marketers and entrepreneurs etc. to connect to customers, have conversations and close deals over platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. I remember attending a webinar by Hubspot where they showed a case-study of how they had gotten a deal through Twitter.

 

I encountered something similar recently – an inquiry from a marketer in Asia who was interested in finding more about SEM. I was excited because we got to exchange so many ideas, talk about strategies and discuss issues specific to our regional industries.Social media helped us break the boundaries and limitations of traditional marketing and helped us connect.

 

I contribute to many different marketing groups on Linkedin and follow some interesting people on Twitter. Working on these platforms has enabled me to connect to ‘potential clients’ and build rapport with industry experts in the online marketing industry. Today, I am connected to people worldwide – in places like London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Korea, Pakistan, India, France, Italy, China, South Africa etc. I have never visited many of these places but each day I talk to many incredible people. We share a common interest and a common goal. We may live in different time zones, we may speak different languages but social media connects us in ways that were never possible before.

 

Social media has made us “globally social”. Sometimes we don’t realize the power of this medium, or the ease with which it allows us to form valuable connections. Connections that have slowly filtered in our everyday lives, connections that are very important and allow us to carry out business worldwide. In many ways social media has broken down cultural and national boundaries and united us all under a common umbrella. Social media allows businesses to experiment with innovative strategies and helps them extend their reach.

 

It’s particularly useful for businesses and allows them to market to a wider audience. One of my neighbors runs a salon for women in her house. She is quite successful and has a huge clientele. But what’s most interesting is the fact that all her clients are referrals from Social media networks. The only place where she markets her business is on different social networks. She tweets regularly, updates messages on her facebook page, gives tips on her blog and has fresh content on her site regularly. These inbound marketing channels help her reach out to hundreds of women weekly.

 

Many can argue that small businesses are most likely to benefit from Social Media Marketing. That’s not true – social media is all about being social and forming connections. It’s about building links (with humans and not websites). Social media marketing practices can be used by all types of businesses: small, medium to large and even multi-nationals. It’s all about knowing that you can connect to the world through social media. A good example being Kodak – a company that revamped its brand identity and leveraged success through Social Media. Now is the time when businesses need to realize the potential of Social Media and jump on the social media bandwagon. Your customer is out there you need to be there too.

 

Thanks to social media I have friends in every corner of the world. I learn something new each day – for instance today I read on the Google blog about the discovery of the rare humanoid fossil, I found out about launch of the new Adobe Creative Suite on Twitter and came across three new connections on Linkedin.

 

The world of Social media offers endless possibilities and through Social media we are creating a global culture that transcends the boundaries of race, color, creed, gender, religion etc.