Social media has helped revolutionize the way people connect in unforeseeable ways. 10-15 years ago archaic chat boxes peppered AOL accounts as users began interacting with unknown counterparts in the online space. Today, users utilize their phones, laptops, or tablets, to give their friends and followers up to the second information from anywhere in the world. In other words "Social Media isn't a fad, it's a fundamental shift in the way we communicate."
As Social Media has moved into the main stream, businesses have been finding ways to monetize these tools to increase retention and customer interaction. It is now desirable to have a presence on multiple social media services including Facebook, twitter, flickr, LinkedIn, and YouTube, in order to respond to opportunities and concerns that may arise from customers and partners. Broadvox has established presence on all of these sites to support our product offering and sales. These media services allow unobtrusive access to our clients to let them know the goings on of Broadvox and details pertaining to new products or updates without spamming their inbox with emails.
Our endeavor into the social landscape is still very experimental. We are continually testing new services and new ways to utilize these platforms to increase our advertising and market share. We have found that twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube offer the best access to provide information about the company to our VARs and customers. These 3 websites provide a great avenue for information distribution and interaction. We have also seen success using Facebook, but Facebook is inherently geared to avoid the business to consumer interaction. I anticipate in the coming months that Facebook will make major changes to their platform in order to allow businesses greater access to their customer base. In order to compete with the upcoming Google me social media product, Facebook will have to find new ways to monetize their brand and customer interactions. By allowing businesses greater direct access to their database, they will be able to stay competitive with Google's ambitious venture into social media.
Part of the new landscape for any online marketing plan has to have a substantial investment in time and energy for social media. It is the most direct way for you to reach your customers at a personal level. On Friday I will conclude this series on online marketing and discuss how SEO, SEM, and Social Media, can be used for reputation management.