Does Social Media Matter? – December 23rd, 2012
|Does Social Media Matter? Earlier this month, needing to find a contractor with a specialty in water-damage remediation, my Mother instinctively turned to the phone book, while I grabbed my laptop and began googling. Neither of us used Facebook. Apparently, in a recent Pew Internet survey only 3% of respondants mentioned using online social networks was a viable tool for researching local businesses. In our case we ended up interviewing companies that we had each found in our own way, hiring one firm as the result of an internet search, and several other contractors through word-of-mouth recommendations. Who do you turn to when you need help, the interwebs, or the phone?
Hi! Hi! Hi?
The holy grail of any marketer is to get someone’s attention, even if just briefly. This requires knowing your audience so that you can offer them something interesting. It also requires contacting people multiple times, but not too many times –a very fine balance indeed. Social media seems purpose made for this, because it gives you time to build up a relationship with someone to the point where they’re ready to take action. Hopefully, however, the action they’re taking is NOT to unfriend you.
Free Wi-Fi; Though No Free Lunch
As a consultant who also works part-time in a customer service position, I wander about New York City Monday through Friday with my laptop in a backpack, continually searching for places to sit down and grab a free internet connection every time I have an hour or two to myself. I find Starbucks to be the worst –noisy, no seats and a high-stress environment. Mostly I use Cosi restaurants, which tend to be a little quieter and offer comfortable chairs and tables. The library was my favorite option in the old days, although less so now that I live in Manhattan (few branches, less pleasant surroundings). Besides, you can’t order lunch at the library.
When I first started this blog a couple of years ago, I was struck by the constant reference to “top ten” lists that seemed to proliferate everywhere on Twitter and in marketing blogs in particular. Perhaps this appeals to the human instinct to categorize things, but mostly I find these rankings to be opinionated entertainment, disguised as helpful advice. I was glad to find another writer this week who agreed with me on this, noting the high “crud factor” in most such postings. Perhaps we’re getting so used to seeing small pieces of information doled out to us (with links attached) that brevity and list-making has become instinctual.