Every 60 seconds, 700,000 messages are sent on Facebook, 1,75,000 tweets are exchanged, over 7000 searches are conducted on LinkedIn, and the new sensation Pinterest receives more than 1000 visitors. Welcome to the world of Social Media!!
Within a very short period of time, Facebook has emerged as 3rd largest continent in the world, and is expected to have 1 billion residents by August 2012, out of the 7 billion population on Earth. Over 250 million messages are exchanged every day on Twitter, and LinkedIn has emerged as one of the biggest online professional communities with more than 150 million members spread all over the world.
The stalwarts of social media which have contributed to the rise of a new era in marketing are: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest.
Social Media Usage:
Surveys indicate that only 53% enterprises use social media as part of their strategy and only half of these have an effective social media strategy in place. Although spending in social media marketing is expected to increase by 26% in the next 5 years, if we look at the overall marketing expenditure, many enterprises are still not utilizing the opportunities provided by Social Media.
Leveraging Social Media for Service Marketing:
The rise of numerous social media tools has helped marketers to establish themselves as a proponent of change in the marketing world, leading to their annual marketing plan seeing a rapid shift from conventional to new age strategy. Some of the channels which would help service marketers globally to adopt changes in their marketing strategy are:
- Social and Business Networking
- Online Communities/Forums and Blogs
- Video and Audio
- Online News, Photo Sharing and Bookmarking
Streamlining the Services Marketing Strategy:
Social media has provided an impetus to customer relationship and customer integration strategies of service marketing, by reducing efforts on customer management and intensive customer insights. Some of the key areas which service marketers should evaluate while implementing a social media strategy are:
- Identification of Stakeholders
- Understanding need of the Internal and External Customers
- Creating Connect
- Establishing Relationship
As technology becomes more and more advanced, digitization of information is embraced by service marketers to ensure a connection with influencers of social media. Consumer reviews of products and services are revered by prospects in the online space, and would work wonders for service marketers. What needs to be done is the identification of appropriate stakeholders and connections formed with them. Social media strategy in a service organization should focus towards customer engagement and building a rapport through targeted content generation. The reach and power of social connection is immense and would provide service marketers the ability to create long lasting impressions. We are experiencing the beginning of a social media revolution, and the future holds a lot!