This is the official Sanna Mattson MacLeod blog, where each week you’ll find blog posts from a member of the SMM team. We are a full-service advertising agency, which means you’ll be seeing posts related to each of departments, such as Recruitment, Art, Media, Communication, Creative and — my personal favorite —New, or Social Media.

New Media

Social Media

picture credits: laverrue via Flickr

As our first blog post, I wanted to talk about Social, or New Media, how it has impacted the marketing and advertising world, and why it will be imperative for all companies to have a Social Media strategy. No one can doubt that it’s a hot topic —time spent on Social Sites have increased significantly -“Time Spent on Twitter Soars by Over 3,700% Facebook up 700%.”  Contrary to what may have been true a few years ago, the people who are visiting these sites are not just teenagers. Ages 2-24 are actually the smallest demographic on Twitter, according to the Nielsen Company, capturing only a 16% share (“Teens Dont Tweet“).

Taking the example of a website — 10 years ago many executives were still asking, “Why do I need a website? I can get along just fine without one.” Now, just a decade later, virtually every business, organization, and government agency has one. Similarly, it is becoming imperative for a company to have a Social or New Media presence, and will become even more over the next few years. Developing and deploying a Social Media (Web 2.0) strategy represents the next step for businesses to take on the web. It’s no longer about simply posting information anymore, consumers and online users everywhere are expecting interaction! From not only a company’s overall brand pages but from their employees, customer service staff, recruitment department and CEO’s!

“Word of Mouth” is the Most Effective Form of Advertising

New Media is the new “Word of Mouse” advertising (thank you, Bernadette, for that one!). This is why New Media can be such a powerful tool… when used correctly. As this chart shows, consumers trust one another with regard to testimonials or reviews posted online. A positive post that was not paid for by the company, meaning someone went out of their way to say something good about a product or service, speaks volumes for a company.  To further back up the weight and importance of online communication- the FTC just released new data valuing sponsored conversations to $11,000 apiece!  How much more powerful is it when a friend recommends that you to buy a Honda than it is seeing a TV ad telling you to do the same thing? It can also work conversely, of course. A negative comment can stay with a consumer, and has the ability to spread like wildfire. As an example, consider the Domino’s PR fiasco on YouTube, in which an employee was videoed doing unsanitary things to a Domino’s pizza and decided to post it online.  It damaged the company’s brand and — six months after it happened — still is. The story claims SEO top spots on Google when the term “Dominos Social Media” is googled.

Whether you want to participate in Social Media or not, we’ve arrived at a new era, one in which companies need to devote time and energy into monitoring their Social Media presence and maintaining their online brand.

Do you agree? Will having your business on select Social Sites become a professional imperative?

By,

Amanda Baldauf

Amanda on: Facebook & Linkedin

Social Media Director at Sanna Mattson MacLeod