“social media is a fad”. . .really?

Social Media Revolution 2

Social Media Revolution 2

When is this social media ride going to end?  Are you tired of hearing about Facebook, Twitter, Social Networking, Web 2.o, the iPad, Kindle, the DROID and the iPhone4?  This energy, this movement, has to be analogous to a fad that we’ve done or seen before that eventually fades away, right?  As soon as the shiny gloss of the iPad wears off, our desire for social media connectivity will wear off as well, won’t it?

It won’t.

Society is in the early phases of what appears to be a media revolution on the scale of that launched by Guttenberg in 1448…

…the era of mass media is giving way to one of personal and participatory media, which will profoundly change both the media industry and society as a whole.

– The Economist “Among the Audience”

Fortunately (or unfortunately), this “movement,” this “phenomenon,” is here to stay in some form or fashion.  The means may change, but opportunity to “sell” yourself, your company or your products will never be the same.  So, if you aren’t taking the social media and social networking experience and opportunity seriously, you maybe leading your company to its eventual competitive demise (and yes, I’m talking to our flower farms too).  I am certainly not trying to suggest to anyone that jumping onto Facebook or Twitter will save their company.  By itself, Facebook and Twitter won’t “save” any company or product, but it will certainly “help” any company that is working to remain relevant, be seen and be heard.   By successfully employing the resources that social media platforms provide will enable business to market and sell products, in our case, flowers to both the current and future generations.

Its cheap!

Nothing appeals more to the average flower farmer than a good deal.  So, Facebook seems like a natural fit for a flower farm that is looking to market their flowers at a low cost, right?  If you know your customers and potential customers are using Facebook (and they are, whether it is personal or for business), then you have a real opportunity to catch their attention where they are spending their time. . .on Facebook.  How impressive would it be for a wholesaler or a florist who is simply engaged in catching up on their Facebook updates and with Facebook friends, to see your farm’s ad pop up.  Facebook gives you the ability to surgically target your specific audience, unlike television and radio.  A recent article in the February issue of Inc. Magazine, highlights the affordability of “Fishing for Friends,” approach on Facebook.  In the article David Berkowitz, senior director of emerging media and innovation for 360i, a digital marketing agency,  highlights how cheap it is to run “tests.”

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”  - Eric Qualman

For just $20, a company or farm could test their success in targeting various demographics of a specific customer base.  This strategy is an approach called “microtargeting,” and that term is an important marketing distinction when working to maximize the “bang for your buck.”  By microtargeting, you can set your advertisement to be seen only by users who mention certain words in their profile or status messages.  For instance, you could target women between the ages of 18-45 who are talking about fresh flowers, Martha Stewart or HGTV.  Facebook really helps flower farmers level the marketing playing field with key customers and consumers that have traditionally been accessible only through wholesale and retail channels.

California Cut Flower Commission helps flower farmers launch into social media with a new YouTube channel, GrowTube

California Cut Flower Commission helps flower farmers launch into social media with a new YouTube channel, GrowTube

It’s worth the try.

A “fad” of this magnitude is going to have lasting impression on how everyone does business and it will certainly have consequences for those who avoid it.  Your specific farm’s application and purpose may vary from a simple public relations strategy to an all-out marketing campaign, but learning how social media is used through personal experience will help you determine your specific company’s application and approach. Like any new restaurant that might open in town, you should definitely try it.  Just remember that this restaurant has 400 million people who actively eat there, 50% of them come back each day and each patron has 130 friends that they could “chat” with while they are eating.  I don’t think a restaurant this popular is going to close anytime soon.  If it were a restaurant, it would be “the place to be seen” in any town or city.  Isn’t that what people used to consider social networking?

And don’t worry about leaving a tip, its FREE!

The Growth Rate of Facebook

The Growth Rate of Facebook


Social Media Strategy from A to Z – by Tamar Weinberg, Techipedia

Social Media Revolution 2Socialnomics09, YouTube

HOW TO: Improve B2B Sales Productivity with Social Media – Umberto Milletti is the CEO of InsideView

More business resources from Mashable:

- 13 Essential Social Media Lessons for B2B Marketers from the Masters
- 10 Essential Social Media Tools for B2B Marketers
- HOW TO: Build A Twitter Strategy for Your Business
- Why Small Businesses Shouldn’t Take Social Media for Granted
- HOW TO: Organize Your Contacts for Networking Success

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