Social Networks: You Snooze, You Lose
For Boomers, the song goes: the times, they are a-changin'
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Starrtech Interactive's Dan Zelikman
The world of social media is like the coconut wireless on crack. It’s viral, free and connects to thousands of targeted consumers instantly. If you want your business to grow, abandon your “I-don’t-have-time” excuse, force yourself to learn these new tools and make them work for you. Advocates say that if you fail to use emerging media to raise your brand presence, your competition probably is benefiting from your complacency.
“If you’re a business owner and you haven’t already integrated social media into your marketing plan, you’re crazy!” says Dan Zelikman, the senior interactive media planner for StarrTech Interactive.
But success in social media won’t come overnight. An effective campaign, like any marketing effort, requires a smart strategy, patience, and a lot of time and energy. “It’s one of those things that’s easy to set up but harder to maintain,” Zelikman says. “But once it does start to work, you’ll be glad you made the investment.
“In the last six months, I’d say the number of users who are taking advantage of social media has increased by 5,000 percent,” Zelikman says. “If you look at some of the vacancies on job lists, companies are looking for a social media expert or analyst. These are jobs that were nonexistent last year.” Smart phones, such as the iPhone and Blackberry, have also added to social media’s popularity.
Lincoln Jacobe, CEO of Hawaii Pacific Entertainment, a public relations and event planning company, says new media has changed his life and his business. His company uses a Web site and e-mail newsletters, has 800 friends on MySpace, 900 followers on Twitter, 1,500 friends on Facebook, and the numbers are growing every day.
In June, HPE brought The Pussycat Dolls to Hawaii. The day before concert ticket sales opened to the general public, the company blasted a promotional code to 15,000 people in its social media network allowing them to buy advance seats.
“We sold 3,000 seats and grossed about a quarter of a million dollars before the tickets even went on sale to the general public – in one day!” Jacobe says ecstatically.
Brandi Salas, an HPE social media specialist, says more companies are realizing the power of viral marketing. “It’s when you provide the content and then just sit back and allow your network to work for you,” she says.
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