Management One great tip I hear all the time when people ask the question, "How do you convince your boss of the value of so cial media ?" is to quote reports, statistics and case studies that prove its value.  Well here's another study to add to your arsenal for when you confront your superiors.

Our top story on InboundMarketing.com this week features a study on social media and specifically, how people and companies are using it in a work context today (and why other small businesses need to get with the program already)... 

1. Terrific New Social Media Research Study Means It's Time for Small Business to Get with the Program

Author: Newt Barrett of Content Marketing Today

The goal of the 2009 Business Social Media Benchmarking Study , conducted by the folks at Business.com, was to analyze current social media trends in North American businesses.  The results, based on 2,948 survey responses, make it clear that small business owners should be taking social media involvement very seriously.

Some valuable takeaways include:

  • Companies use benchmarks like website traffic, product feedback, lead generation and revenue to measure the success of social media efforts.
  • There is a measurable ROI to social media activities.
  • Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are leaders, and YouTube is #1 in showing business impact from a company profile.

Lesson: Don't get left behind.  There's still time to jump into social media.  (In fact, in hindsight, you'll even be considered an early adopter.)

2. The Rapid Evolution of Search

Author: Brian Solis of PR 2.0  

Brian Solis' article is born from an increase of buzz and discussion about the new age of search, based on recent announcements from Google and Bing.  He takes the opportunity to investigate the evolution of search and its impact on Internet behavior and culture. He highlights the following five phases:

  1. Traditional Search: includes established search engines like Google, Yahoo, etc.
  2. Real-Time Search: provides that content is readily discoverable as it's live/published online (e.g. Twitter Search)
  3. Social Search: leverages activity within a personal social graph 
  4. Semantic Search: uses semantics, the science of meaning, to produce personalized and accurate search results
  5. Social Networking Search: searches within social networks like Facebook or YouTube

Lesson: Stay up-to-date with the fast-changing evolution of the Web.

3. Marketing and How Social Software Aligns

Author: Chris Brogan of ChrisBrogan.com  

Interested in getting with the program and jumping into the social media-sphere but worried you're not tech-savvy enough?  It's not as overly complicated as you might think.  Yes, marketers need to understand the tools, but more importantly, they need to understand the concepts.  Chris Brogan's article discusses the traditional 4 P's of Marketing ( Product, Price, Place, Promotion) and how they can be applied to modern inbound marketing practices.

Brogan's bottom line is that the new tools of the Web aren't really that awesome, yet they make make marketing way simpler than it used to be.  And what's particularly exciting about how social media and social software align with marketing is the new opportunities offered by these new tools. 

Lesson: Don't be daunted by the technology; it's not as difficult to learn as you might think.

4. What My Five-Year-Old Son Taught Me About Marketing

Author: Johnny B. Truant of Copyblogger

As an adult, how many times have you suppressed that inner child of yours?  Case in point: you want that cupcake, but it's not exactly part of your newly adopted diet plan.  In his light-hearted yet thought-provoking article, Johnny Truant urges us to let that inner child in, because, quite frankly, we can learn a little bit about marketing from him/her. 

A few of the tips he's learned from his son:

  • Make the customer "want that"
  • Know what your customer really wants
  • Don't lie to your customers
  • Associative conditioning works 

Lesson: Marketing is simple (though not easy); don't overcomplicate it.  It's easy to overlook the reasons it works when it does and why it doesn't when it fails.

5. Good Bloggers Make Good Neighbors, New Survey Says  

Author: Jolie O'Dell of ReadWriteWeb  

Are you commonly classified as an unsocial, maladjusted Internet geek because you blog and spend much of your waking day glued to technology?  A new study from the Pew Internet Project finds that you've probably been misread.  

Jolie O'Dell reports on this recent study, which concludes that Internet geeks are more likely to help neighbors, get out of the house, volunteer and behave as upstanding members of their IRL (in real life) communities.  Surprised?  I mean, they don't call it "social" media for nothing!

Lesson: Although social media has become an important part of business, face-to-face interactions are still essential.

 

Video: How to Use Social Media to Attract More Customers

Learn how to use social media to attract more customers.

Download the free video and learn how to generate more business using social media.

 


Originally published Nov 13, 2009 7:01:00 AM, updated July 18 2013