In web design and online marketing circles, we hear a lot about what social networking is, what it can be, and how it stacks up against other ways to reach customers like search engine optimization or online videos. When I hear these conversations, two things stand out: first, that none of these are truly even separate disciplines anymore – what you do on social media sites affects your search engine optimization, and vice versa, for example – and also that it misses the point a little bit.
It doesn’t matter what we, as marketers, think about social media. The fact is that customers everywhere love them, so they are going to be an increasingly-important part of our plans to reach them whether we want them to be or not.
At the time of this writing, Facebook alone boasts somewhere around 500 million members, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing up. Twitter is nearing 200 million, and LinkedIn is connecting more than 50 million professionals with one another. The more people continue to sign up and use social networking sites as a forum to meet one another and share ideas, the more we are going to have to use them as marketing mediums.
The bottom line with social media is that your customers and potential customers love it. That’s reason enough for all of us to keep paying attention to it.