One of the greatest things about social media is how consistently small efforts can yield big rewards. I can not stress enough how infusing social media into your current efforts pays off. If you still aren’t convinced that social media is a force to be reckoned with, here are a few examples of the large impact social media has had in a short amount of time.\n\nCustomer Input Reinvented – Starbucks My Idea is a social community that lives on the Starbucks website. The concept is simple. Customers make suggestions on what they want to see in the stores. Sounds like any other forum right? Well the genius behind this is that Starbucks actually selects the ideas with the most buzz and makes them happen. It’s taking listening to its customers to a whole new level and paying off in a big way for the coffeehouse.\n\nAdapting to Your Target – There is no doubt that social media had a huge part in the last presidential election. President Obama’s campaign truly embraced this new era of marketing. Not only did his campaign set up profiles on all the major social networking sites, they also used tools such as Ustream to broadcast speeches on the web and an IPhone app that encouraged people to spread the word and vote. Obama’s approach captivated younger voters and they came out in droves to the polls. His fresh approach to politics and marketing were a winning combination. Let’s see if he can use these techniques to bring up his approval ratings…\n\nInteracting With Your Audience – When Old Spice wanted to sell more body wash they realized they had to take a new approach – they bypassed their customers and went straight to their girlfriends. Old Spice launched a comical commercial featuring a tall dark and handsome guy enticing women to buy Old Spice body wash for their boyfriends so that they could smell just like him. The commercial was a hit and Old Spice took it to the next level. Old Spice launched personalized YouTube video responses to people who tweeted the Old Spice guy. Fans of the commercial loved this unique interaction so much that the campaign gained nationwide recognition for its innovative use of social networking.\n\nBuilding a Brand – Chicago-based T-shirt company Threadless lives, breathes, and eats social media. For those who aren’t familiar, Threadless is a company that allows people to submit t-shirt designs to their site. Threadless customers then vote on which shirt designs will be sold for that week and the winning designers not only get their shirts sold but also some cash. Basically the company’s website in itself is an online community. Threadless is known for using social networking to build their brand and secure brand buy in. Their customers love how accessible and interactive they are and they have the following to prove it.\n\nAs you see with the examples i mentioned social media marketing is not to different from traditional marketing efforts you are use to yet when done correctly the results speak for themselves. With a little research, time, and effort your brand could also see big results by implementing social media into your marketing plan.
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