Some may call it a fad, others may call it a trend, but social media sites are the current buzz in the business world, and will gain popularity in 2011. Just as fads come and go, the way people do business has changed from traditional business practices to the use of the Internet to sell and engage customers. Instead of the customer relying on businesses to provide them with information about products, with the help of social media sites, and the Internet, they are now able to (a) research products, (b) make a decision on what they are going to buy, and (c) know the price they are willing to pay for the product before even talking to anyone. This is why it is important for businesses to get a presence on social media sites and position themselves as experts in their industry. Social media sites offer businesses endless tools to complement their selling efforts and engage their customers. Social media sites are the new way of doing business, those that do not jump on the bandwagon now will spend lots of time catching up to those that beat them there.
Best selling author Bob Burg once said, “The successful networkers I know, the ones receiving tons of referrals and feeling truly happy about themselves, continually put the other person's needs ahead of their own.” Social networking is one of the keys to a business’s future success. Those who chose not to engage in social networking will find themselves losing customers as well as credibility to their competitors. Businesses must use social networking sites as a way to (a) build trust and credibility, (b) profile customers, (c) generate leads, and (d) make connections. According to market research firm IDC, “more than half of U.S. consumers with Internet access use social networking services.” It is apparent that in the future, almost everyone who is online will be using social networking sites. If businesses give social networking sites a chance, they will see a significant return on investment.
Source: “How to turn,” 2009