I’ve been asked several questions lately about Social Media Tools such as; what can I really do with them, do they apply in my Industry, should I really be talking about my everyday life, what if someone doesn’t like what I say, or any other of a similar nature. All good questions indeed, but the most important one is not being asked – What is the cost to my business if I don’t utilize Social Media Tools?
Social Media platforms are the fastest growing segments of the internet user population. New users of Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and so on, number in the millions daily. Besides the basic benefits of networking, there are a myriad of ways you can utilize and incorporate social media tools into your business to support and enhance such functions as communication, customer service, PR, Marketing, Sales, New business Development, research, education, Human Resources, recruiting, training, and more.
Businesses both traditional (Defined for our purpose today as the Fortune 500) and more non-traditional (Defined for our purposes today as the Inc. 500, although these companies really aren’t all that non-traditional – they are the fastest growing 500 private companies) are rapidly adopting social media tools and incorporating them into their business. According to research today, 62 (12.4%) of the Fortune 500 are blogging as of 9/9/08 and 39% of the Inc. 500 is blogging, which is a 20% increase over the previous year. In the Summary of the report they predict the Inc. 500 will grow by a 40% adoption rate in this year alone.
What does that mean? First of all, they are beating you and leaving you in the dust if you’re not already in the social media game, and more importantly, they are reaching an audience that prefers to receive its information and do its communication, via such tools. Combine that with the increasing number of consumer activities online, from product research to e-commerce, and the web is a critical battleground your business will need to play on in order to stay relevant today and in the future.
So, what can you do from keeping yourself from joining the ranks of the dinosaurs? Follow along in my next few posts as we’ll talk about strategy, ground rules, and offer a few case studies from the clients we’ve helped, to other noteworthy business case studies.
To kick it all off, why don’t you take a moment to leave a comment on what is your biggest fear or roadblock to adopting Social Media Tools at your business??