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The social media’s pandemia

by Allan Vazquez 

Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts and hold on real tight because we are heading straight into a collision course. The word has spreaded out and there’s no turning back. Each day, the digital buzz grows at a faster pace and becomes more influential than ever before. But that’s not where it stops.

What happened? Well, without previous advice or notice, we’re suddenly standing in the verge of the most significant technological shift to date.  An accepted motion that gives life to a new stage filled by different rules, habits, needs and desires.

As days go by, traditional methods, along with the usual ways of performing regular tasks such as buying, selling, advertising, building relationships and establishing conversations, amongst others, are no longer valid enough to successfully break through the market’s turbulent seas.

The corporate atmosphere is experiencing some radical changes.  Many businesses across the globe are hiding from external diseases, they’re making a contradictory statement while refusing to catch the contemporary train. Many of them are scared to do such thing, whereas others are simply convinced that their current blueprints and recipes will lead the way.

So many inquiries and presumptions arise directly from the digital (slash) social vertigo. Lucrative organizations and all-sized enterprises are asking themselves repeatedly: How come our brilliant TV campaign didn’t return a positive ROI? Or why we haven’t increased our sales due our big and colorful newspaper ad every month? And, what happened with the sales conversions that came out from our radio publicity?

The answer to every issue isn’t found by solving a complex puzzle or by cracking the human genome. No. Stop your company’s propeller for an instant and take a good look around.

Are you watching closely? You’re almost there! Ok, I will give you a little insight. Ready? The real guidance is and has always been right in front of your eyes. Each plan and strategy should be constructed through the comprehension of social behavior, of people’s needs and demands.

The real value won’t come from one-sided conversations. Take the proper time to listen and then make the necessary adjustments in order to adapt to whatever your consumers want and expect from you as a brand. At the end of the day, it’s your personal branding and public image (not just digital presence) what you’re trying to build as a fully committed and respected corporation.  The time for establishing sales at first sight has expired. Your purpose to exist and modus operandi should be both based on seeking the one thing that matters the most: Engagement. It’s all about connecting with real people, not just generating new accounts, money, and infinite numbers.

Doing Marketing through Social Media isn’t anything new. There are 2 basic factors that differentiate new strategies from early approaches: (1) The working tools and (2) an increase of personal empowerment on the regular consumers.

By now, you should probably dominate the whole Social Media Mix. In extreme case you don’t let me introduce you to all their main categories: (a) there are Social Networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace. (b) Social Media sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr. (c) Social Bookmarking sites such as Digg, Reddit, Delicious and StumbleUpon. (d) Location-Based Social sites such as FourSquare and GoWalla. (e) And finally there’s the blogosphere with 2 major platforms, WordPress and Blogger.

Having accounts on each and every single Social Media site does not guarantee your digital success. If it were like that, at least 500 million people that own a Facebook profile would be a wealthy individual as today. You should always keep in mind that the most important thing in the digital age is to give added value, to generate first-class content and to have a previously defined message (slash) purpose which you seek to share with the world and that truly reflects the values of your own identity. You need to find out where is your target audience and then, and only then, you have “green light” to integrate the tools you require to orchestrate an accurate campaign.

Do you want to know a secret?  You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on focus groups, interviews or other data-collecting techniques; you have the market’s pulse at your hands within few Twitter queries. You don’t have to do all the work; the content that your fans create can overtake the efforts of your competitors. You won’t need to outspend the biggest competitors anymore; you have the ability to surprise them with viral campaigns.

At the end, tools come and go. Don’t spend too much time or effort trying to gleam on… Twitter for instance. There’s no reward for being the “Master of the tweets”, trust me. What it should really concern you is, the strategy you’re capable to execute, the creativity on the ideas you originate during the process, the authenticity of the message that you’re willing to communicate. All of those things will never be forgotten from years to come, if they’re majestically done.

Now, on second hand, what about the consumers?  Well, while you’re reading this post, consumers are getting more connected and involved than ever before. They’re having millions of conversations on the web, whether you like it, ignore it or not. During the process of seeking better products and services, they’re reinforcing marketing efforts by sharing experiences and thoughts of their own. They are the new brand managers and marketing directors (in a certain way). So, why don’t you take one minute to think about it? Almost done? Ok, after evaluating the situation (I hope you did) you probably have figured out that every second that your company is not engaging them in Social Media is a wasted chance.  So, what are you waiting for?

So with everything I just shared, you’re not yet convinced? Get ready for a few mind-blowing facts that I’m about to unveil:

  • Traditional media fell 10% from last year, while online media rose 24%.
  • Recently, Internet exceeded 300% the impact of traditional media.
  • 96% of Millennials have joined a Social Network.
  • The total amount of online video viewers is greater than those who watch TV.
  • Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate positive ROI.
  • More than 1.5 million items of content are shared daily through Facebook.
  • 25% of online search results belong to user-generated content.
  • There are about 200 million blogs and 34% of bloggers talk about brands and products.
  • 78% of consumers trust peer to peer recommendations.

How other companies and human beings have succeeded and achieved greater goals through the adequate use of Social Media:

  • Lenovo got a 20% reduction in call center activity as customers went to community website.
  • Burger King got 32 million Free Media Impressions through its Facebook application.
  • Blendtec quintupled sales with “Will it blend”? YouTube videos.
  • Gary Vaynerchuk grew his family business from $4 million to $50 million.
  • Dell sold $3,000,000 worth of computers on Twitter.
  • 37% of Generation “Y” was aware of Ford Fiesta before its launch in the US.
  • reported 24% of social media leads conversion to sales.
  • 5.4 million people clicked on an “I voted for Obama” Facebook button.

The social media’s pandemia