Thursday, 21 October 2010

Revolutionising The Internet: Social Media Marketing

The Internet has (and, if it hasn’t, it will) transform the way natural products industry companies communicate with their customers. That transformation is accelerating at an astonishing pace

as a result of social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and about 50 other sites that can help distribute marketing messages.

More than ever, customers are sharing their experiences and opinions, good and bad, with global audiences on blogs, social networks and review sites, literally at the touch of a button. Those opinions have the potential for shaping, controlling and redefining marketing messages, as well as the reputation of companies. Most companies, especially in the supplement industry, are still unaware of the existence or benefits of social media marketing. However, those that are aware have not adapted to the speed at which social media marketing is revolutionizing the way companies communicate with customers and potential customers and the way consumers are voicing their opinions about companies and their products.

Social media experts believe the day of the one-way message controlled by brand owners may—at least for now—be dying. I would agree. The question to ask now is no longer how are your customers playing back the message you told them. It's what message are they are spreading to others? This is in part due to the development of social media.

The ever-increasing number of social networking sites, blogs and customer review sites makes it a greater challenge for brand owners to manage marketing messages, reputations and intellectual property assets online. That challenge will undoubtedly intensify as the number of participants on user-generated content sites explodes to an estimated 1 billion by 2012. It is also estimated that there will be 40 billion “tweets" on Twitter in 2010. Clearly, the pace at which people are using social media networks to connect with “friends" and seek out online relationships with business is exploding. This is why the smart companies see social media as an opportunity to connect with individuals or groups in this manner. Online media has opened an entirely new path to reaching target audiences.