If you have read, “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century,” (I highly recommend this book) then you would know just how instrumental the internet has been for civilization. The author, Thomas Friedman, delves into how globalization impacts practically every aspect of our lives. His book was published in 2005 shortly before the onslaught of social media sites, but I think that this video does an excellent job showing the revolutionary impact they have had in our lives. Click here to watch this amazing video!
What is social media marketing?
A way to market your business using online networking sites to engage, promote, brand and gain relevance with an increasingly online consumer base.
Who uses it?
Consumers have headed up the social media trend thus far. Sites like Facebook and MySpace were originally made for individuals – not companies. But basic marketing reveals that to stay ahead, you have to predict your consumers’ next moves. Companies have not only followed suit, they’ve created a whole new way to market their businesses. And it’s about time considering that social networking sites are growing at unbelievable rates. According to comScore, the number of visitors to Twitter.com jumped 131% from February to March of 2009 – more than 5 million visitors! It’s time for the hospitality industry to jump to the head of the pack.
The answer is YES! Facebook is evolving into more than just a purely “social” site. There are new ways to reach people through Facebook that help qualify them for travel and lodging businesses. Let’s start with some clear statistics which can be found on the Facebook Statistics page.
- There are more than 400 million active users
- 50% of active users login everyday
- The average user has 130 friends
- People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook
- There are over 160 million pages, groups, and events that people interact with
- The average user is connected to 60 pages, groups, and events
Last week I took a short road trip with my family to see my younger brother graduate from college. Three generations were among our group: two from the “Silent Generation” (1925-1945), two from the “Baby Boomers” (1946-1964), and two from “Generation Y” (1980- 2000). While driving, many topics came up and one was “Facebook” and updating a “status.’” Both of my grandmothers (from the Silent Generation) asked the question – “Why does everyone need to know where I am or what I am doing?” I, being an older “Generation Y”, could say nothing to convince them that updating my status on Facebook was even remotely worth my time.
Fact: Your company’s financial performance correlates directly with its level of engagement in Social Media – See Study Prepared by wetpaint & Altimeter.
Social Media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp and YouTube are relatively new concepts, especially in the world of hospitality. In an industry so focused on customer relations, these tools provide an incredible launching pad for interacting with your clients. So the question we raise to you is this: Are you leveraging Social Media in your Marketing Strategy?