According to Borrell Associates, from Williamsburg, VA, marketers will spent over $38 billon on social media advertising and promotions by 2015. That could get it closer to being the primary media means for business in the future. Marketers need to master social media or they could have a hard time finding work.

  1. Engage your current customers with social media. There are ample sources of social media. What you use will depend on your business and your clientele. LinkedIn has forums that can cover a wide range of topics or can be very specific. The same goes for blogs. YouTube can show video of a specific use for a product and get comments or suggestions from current users.  Research various tools to see what works best for your business.
  2. Generate qualified leads. Research by the Social Media Examiner, a web-zine, reported that 52% of their survey respondents had used social media in obtaining qualified leads. Friends of friends can connect with your business through common contacts. Customers looking for specific goods and services can search the social media for businesses that can meet their needs. Make sure they can find you in social media.
  3. Minimize negative word of mouth. Social media is in the control of the customer, not the business. Most businesses have some dissatisfied customers. Some of those dissatisfied customers will spread information related to their dissatisfaction by one of the most effective promotion tools ever known – word of mouth! And the power of word of mouth is multiplying as social media grows. Several tools are available, such as TweetDeck, that notify you when someone is talking about your business. From there a business can take action to minimize the damage done by such customers.
  4. Capitalize on positive word of mouth. Maximize the impact of positive word of mouth. Expand the conversations and ask for suggestions on how to improve your services. You can get some really good ideas from your customers.

What social media tools does your business use? How are you using them.