I was speaking at #SMIATL (Social Media Integration Atlanta) last week and had the privilege of providing a beginner workshop to participants. Toward the end of the session I was speaking about the TRUE power of social media – one that most people forget.
The reality is that the real power of social media is the ability to amplify your brand message through social networks. It isn’t about content or fans or contests. It is really about driving conversations – so that a friend tells a friend and so on and so forth.
THE MAIN REASON that social media has the power to create real word of mouth marketing is that for almost any business, the best new customer is one step removed from your current customer base. What this means is that if you want new customers for your business, the best way to get them is to tap in to the social graph of your current customers.
This is why social media is so powerful. For almost any business – real estate agents, beauty products, custom printing or even continuing education – your best customers (who are also the easiest to get) are just one step removed from your current customers.
Here is Why
We are connected socially to people who are like us. We share things in common with our friends, which is why we are friends with them to begin with. This means that I am probably more likely to use ANY product or service if a friend of mine has used it vs. the general population. Since we are like our friends, and we trust them (and the products and services they use), we are already primed to use services that our friends use.
What This Means for You
Encouraging word of mouth and direct recommendations is great, but even if you don’t have those, social media can be a great way to generate indirect word of mouth. If we see our friends liking and commenting on Facbebook fan pages they are generating awareness with their friends and providing an implied endorsement. By gaining interactions on social networks you are reaching your group of ideal new customers (the friends of your customers.
Stacey Kaye from Dream Me Up was kind enough to suggest this YouTube video of Faberge Shampoo that leverages this concept. Tell a friend and they tell someone and they tell someone……
Give people a reason to tell someone. That is the secret sauce of social media.