For sixty years after the Second World War if you were a local business there were only really three things you had to do to market yourself effectively. Life was very straightforward. You took the biggest ad you could afford in Yellow Pages, relied a lot on word of mouth and, if you were very ambitious or a little bit flash(!), then you took an ad out in the local newspaper.
That was pretty much all you had to worry about as far as marketing was concerned.
Oh how times have changed.
Yellow Pages are dying now. They are getting thinner every year, fewer and fewer people are using them and, within the next five to ten years the old printed yellow books will have disappeared altogether.
Right across the country local newspapers are seeing circulation fall and, each month, different titles are shutting down the presses and going out of business.
And, of course, society has become much more transient and mobile than it ever was in the ‘good old days’. Neighbourhood communities are now a real rarity for most people.
For businesses right across the country this has forced a seismic shift in the way they market and promote themselves. New, all encompassing, marketing services like thebestof have come from nowhere to provide a myriad of different services to businesses. The internet is now an integral part of the fabric of modern life and, within that, social media has emerged to fulfil the role of 21stCentury word of mouth.
If you think about it, that’s all social media is, word of mouth.
People sharing with other people (some whom they know and others who they don’t know) what they think about things and places, what they’re doing right now and what they are planning to do.
The fact is, that wherever you live in the country, within a few miles of where you are right now there will be thousands of people online, right this minute, on social media sites. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or Linked-In, the reality is that these people, in your area, are using social media today. It’s where the people are. And that’s why, if you are a business then you have to be in this space as well and you can’t do it just by buying an ad or writing a cheque.
You have to engage and get involved.
You have to continually update and input.
It’s not difficult and, when you do it right, it can be even more powerful than word of mouth was in the old days because social media allows everybody to communicate with everybody else – and people do.
You don’t really have a choice as to whether you get involved with social media or not – only when. It’s beginning to transform the way people do business in the UK and the opportunities for those businesses sharp enough to see that and adapt to it is immense.
If you would like help with your Social Media strategy then please drop me a line… I’m always pleased to have a chat and I want to help you make Social Media a success for your business.