Why Bother with Social Media Marketing?
First and foremost, businesses should bother with social media marketing because that’s where the people are. Your customers–over half of them according to most current data–have already made a purchase based on recommendations they received through a social media site. Over 250 million people use Facebook every day. If it were a country, it would be the fourth largest, smaller than the United States but larger than Indonesia. And it costs nothing to join.

People are already talking about you. I get phone calls nearly every week from a business owner or marketing executive who wants to hire my company to “do something” about a negative comment on a consumer-review site like Yelp, stop a rumor that’s spreading around Facebook, or repair the damage to their reputation from a story a customer posted online.

Most companies give only lip service to customer service. And the Internet has given a huge megaphone to every customer who feels they have been treated badly. The customer is no longer reduced to fuming silently or writing a letter to the corporate offices. Today, that customer has a worldwide voice–most likely a Facebook profile, Twitter account or a membership to a consumer-review site like Yelp. And if she doesn’t, she has a friend who does.

The only choices really left to marketers are to become part of the conversation by building a solid social media presence, or wait to react when the conversation involves them.

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