Friday, March 16, 2012

Social Media For The Next Generation

Saw an interesting Infographic at Mediabistro.com talking about the impact of social media on customer service, especially among the key demographic of those between the ages of 16-24.

The reason this is my 'key' demographic is because these are the people who will become the next key demographic of those who are between the ages of 18-35.

Anyway, enough confusing demographics. What I want to talk about is the fact that what you are doing today on social media is all about setting yourself up for the future. If you create a social media campaign and immediately begin reaping benefits, great! But the chances are you are just laying the groundwork for benefits yet to come.

Like customer service.

As this infographic shows, 15% of those between the ages of 16-24 prefer to interact with customer service via social media. Those numbers, both the percentage and the demographic, are only going to increase as we move forward. More and more people are using social media, and expecting that social media will become more useful. That means your existing is fine and dandy, but it needs to be ready to handle growing numbers of people in the future.

What began as a marketing tool is quickly becoming a service and response tool. People expect your social media network to be something much more than a promotional tool. They want to interact with you via social media, yes, but they also expect to be able to resolve issues; have questions answered; order products and find out about new products.

Is your social media network ready for that? Have you thought about the ways it integrates into your overall infrastructure; your sales funnel, your customer service resources and every facet of your business? If you haven't, or if it doesn't, you are not going to reap the benefits of Generation D; those who have grown up fully immersed in the Digital Age.

Your audience is not right now, it is tomorrow, next month and next year. Unless you've built a business model that is only interested in profiting from the latest fad, you need to have an infrastructure which grows to meet the demands of an ever-changing audience. And the audience is demanding more effective uses of social media; tools which help them deal with your business on every level, not just pitch them products.

If you have an existing social media network, or are getting ready to build one, be certain it is flexible enough to handle what is needed now and what will be needed next. If you don't, you risk falling behind and missing the next window of opportunity, which is just around the corner....


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