Social media such as blogging, Facebook and Twitter can be used as tools to boost sales. It is much easier for companies to examine buying behaviors and trends when the targeted audience is unaware that this is taking place. Analyzing conversations in social media will also help companies tailor their marketing strategies toward desired demographics.
Social Media has also made it easier for marketers to relate to a potential buyer. If the marketer already knows a bit about the prospect, his or her concerns, past experiences with products/services, etc., it is a lot easier to relate to that person and make the sale. People thrive on that human connection.
Social media is not just used by Generation X. It has been studied that even baby boomers, of all ages, are influenced by and interested in social media.
One doesn’t have to comb through sites to find out desired information. There are text mining tools that will do that work for you. Basically, text mining tools are able to scan for chosen information (words, phrases, etc.) from text. For example, let’s say you are responsible for the marketing on a newly released movie and you want to find out what people are saying about it. You can use text mining tools to grab everything related to that movie on popular blogs (or wherever you want to get your information from). When you find out what real people are saying about the movie, why they liked it, it is then easier for you, the marketer, to advertise the movie according to why people really enjoyed it. And as more people use social media, more sophisticated tools will be developed.
If you’re a smaller company and you don’t have the resources to invest in text mining tools, try Google Alerts. Google alerts allow you to request an alert (which is in the form of an email) on the topic of your choice. You can choose to be alerted when the topic comes up from your chosen source. The online sources you can pick from are: news, web, blogs, video, group and comprehensive. This can allow you to examine buying trends, identify your target market and spot your competition.
Another source of information for B2B companies is LinkedIn. Most professionals are signed up on sites like LinkedIn, which typically house all of their (potential prospects’) career information. This is a great tool and provides some insight into who the person is and what their interests are. This supplies you, the marketer with some speaking topics to help form the ever sought-after human connection, and make the sale.