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Tags:  social media explained  social media 2012  social media metrics  roles of media 
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Published:  April 10, 2012
 
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Slide 1: ==== ==== Hello : Check out This Hot Topics Now And Built Your Strategy! http://tinyurl.com/socialmediaca ==== ==== People around the world are using social media more for a multitude of reasons. They are meeting long lost relatives or high school classmates, watching videos, reading blogs and most importantly for retailers, they are using SM to connect with brands they know and love. By the end 2011more than 63% of Internet users will be using social media. (148 million people) and the number will climb to 67% by the year 2013. (Source: emarketer.com) That's a lot of people spending a lot of time with social media to do a lot of things. And while some retailers are just getting started in using SM for their businesses, the industry is steam rolling ahead at warp speed. New sites are being created every day and the ways consumers use social media continues to evolve. So the question is - Where do we go from here and what's next for social media? Here we present 5 of the ongoing trends emerging with social media for 2012. Many of them will be perfect for retailers like you as they seek to engage and share word of mouth experiences with customers in real time across to a broad group of users. When you read them, don't think about where you are with SM today, but more importantly, think about where your business could be if you integrated some of these tools in the coming year. Consumer content creation-It's all about being in the stream. Yes, you need to have an engaging presence with social media on your own that inspires people to come back on a regular basis. Now taking it to the next level and getting your brand evangelists and social media community members to talk about your business in their posts will be critical. Think of it as PR and word of mouth marketing from your best customers. You will need to create programs that inspire them to share what you are doing in their social media posts. Think of this as a type of word of mouth referral- except that it's on line and a lot more eyes will be on the message! Niche Location-This will be another great trend for retailers. Niche location social media site target a users location and tells others about it. This has a great connotation for retailers who can then use services like foursquare or gowalla to run contests or make offers to customers who check in when customers shop. Its like getting free advertising for your store-people check in and get discounts, etc and then their friends see on line that they are shopping in your store and may be intrigued to come in and get the same deal. Ann Taylor, McDonalds, Starbucks and Best Buy are just a few of the companies that have created programs for Location based services
Slide 2: Group Purchasing-This trend continues to grow and will expand with more sites in 2012. Simply put, group purchasing is based on the premise that creating a sense of urgency around purchasing will incentivize users to act quickly and to share the information with friends in their circle to insure the deal happens. where brands offer a deal to customers and if enough people sign up, everyone gets the deal. It's a great way to get a tremendous amount of press for your brand that you could never pay for on your own. The group purchasing sites take a percentage of the sales generated from the deal so there is some profit erosion (on this first deal, but not over the long-term life of the customer if you can get them to shop with you again.) Using group purchasing sites like Groupon or Living social or Daily Deals has become a hotbed topic for retailers because they are concerned these sites don't attract the right type of customers that can be retained long-term. I would suggest that the key to successful group purchasing participation is how you structure the deal and how you prepare in advance to create a process for you to capture contact information from the customers as well as create marketing programs to speak to them after the Groupon is over. Social Gaming In 2012 more game applications will be integrated in to social media programs to further engage customers with brands in a fun way. More than 56 million people currently play games with social media on a regular basis and brands that connect with customers while they are using the game platforms are poised to form a meaningful connection with them going forward. Mobile Marketing - More than 50% of all cell phones will be smart phones in 2012. Consumers understand the time saving benefits that a smart phone can deliver and the social media trends for 2012 call for more mobile marketing programs from brands to connect with customers where they are. Discount codes coming through phones, interactions with products while in store and QR codes offering information, games and other relevant services will further engage customers with brands and stores in 2012. These are not the only key trends for social media usage for 2012, but they are some of the biggest and ones where retailers can see a direct connection to customers if they choose to use them. Whatever trend you think is right for your business, one thing is certain. Social Media is the way of the future for retailers to connect with customers. Just like creating a website was important 10 years ago and email marketing they way to connect with customers 5 years ago, social media is a trend that is here to stay. At it's core, social media is a new way of connecting with customers for your store and if you plan on being in business in 10 years and having customers who evangelize your brand - you must start integrating social media tools into your marketing plans today. Personally, you do not have to like- -or even use SM-but you have to understand that effective marketing is putting messages for your store where your customers are-and that your customers are using social media to connect with brands they love-and we certainly want yours to be one of them! Lynn Switanowski is the President of Creative Business Consulting Group, (CBCG) an International Retail Consulting firm headquartered in Boston, MA. CBCG partners with retailers, etailers and manufacturers to create and implement profit improving
Slide 3: sales, marketing and inventory management programs. CBCG helps Independent retailers understand the business opportunities created by today's changing consumer trends and helps retailers to harness the power of social media marketing tools to connect with today's wired consumers. Lynn frequently speaks at retail trade shows across North America and teaches retail marketing and branding at several colleges in the Boston area. She began her career at as a buyer at Federated Department stores. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lynn_Switanowski ==== ==== Hello : Check out This Hot Topics Now And Built Your Strategy! http://tinyurl.com/socialmediaca ==== ====

   
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