Social media marketing is here to stay” could very well be chalked up as the understatement of the year. Social media marketing has been on the rise for the past several years. Unfortunately, many small businesses, corporations, and independent freelancers have been slow to get on board the social networking train.

Saying “thanks, but no thank you” to social marketing opportunities reminds me of the new commercial out for PS3. The advertisement begins with a disgruntled girlfriend who can’t wrap her mind around the fact that her boyfriend has indeed purchased PS3, but will not (for whatever reason) proceed to the next logical step: connecting to the Internet. The girlfriend is speaking to a technical advisor with PlayStation who brings to her attention the fact that without connecting, he can’t possibly make use of all the wonder that PS3 offers, such as movie downloads, online gaming, and so much more. The final line of the commercial says it all, “What is wrong with him?”

The same goes for social networking. In a virtual world where products and services are now sold more through the “virtual word of mouth social networking” than high dollar corporate advertisements, why wouldn’t you want to engage with online communities? The answer to that is most likely, because you just don’t know where to begin. 

Facebook is the boy wonder of social marketing.  A site that started as a side project/hobby for a couple of Harvard guys now has over 200 million users and ranks as the number one visited site in the world.

Everyone from the small business owner to corporate giants is realizing the viral power of Facebook to drive traffic to their websites and connect with new clients.

Facebook has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere where most individuals won’t ask why you’ve sent them a “friend request.” Most are all too happy to have the attention and will gladly “friend” you right back. On Facebook, friends have access to each other’s walls, pages, photos, videos, blog streams, and any other posted content.  Its really a matter of do I get involved and get on the Media Frenzy Free Ride bus…..or do you sit on the sidelines wondering where to put the emphasis on marketing…..   Linked-In is another outstanding tool that businesses and professionals  can use to their benefit as well. Its carries on to the beat of a different type however it is very successful in it’s own right.  If your not already using these tools you may just missing the bus.  These sites are  not tools for merely social interaction; these are tools when used correctly that enable a business/professional to capture a market previously not being tapped. 

Kevin J. Lawson