Social media has seen astronomical growth in the past few years. The combination of an economic downturn, availability of tools and consumers turning toward social media platforms more and more has put social media on the radar of many marketers.
In fact, a study found that small business social media usage increased from 12% to 24% in in the last year, and nearly 20% use social media as part of their marketing strategies.
This growth in adoption for businesses means much more for them than simply publishing a blog post or launching a Facebook Page. Launching any platform for a business means taking the first step to a fundamental shift in the way business is done.
An Age of Serendipity
Not long ago, it was a bit of a surprise for a consumer to find a brand actively using social media to connect with consumers. It wasn't a common happening, so when consumers did find them, especially those that actually interacted and responded, it came as a surprise. This, of course, made the brand really stand out.
Enter the Age of Expectation
Consumer expectations have changed. Social media is now a part of their lives. It's no longer a niche behavior. It's daily routine. As their behavior has changed, their expectations of brands have too.
They not only expect to be able to find brands on social platforms, they also expect them to respond, be personal and be available 24/7.
Interactions are no longer limited to brick-and-mortar locations or customer service lines. They're happening online all the time. Consumer expectations will shift the way business is done. Those that resist will fall behind those that embrace.
It May Have Been Fun, but...
Things were easy before. Simply being on Twitter was noteworthy. Now, business accounts need to monitored all the time, and this may mean involvement at every level of the business from customer service and marketing to legal and IT.
Now, we're entering a new age of social media being the standard. It's time to be ready because it's no longer a nice-to-have. It's a mandate from those who matter most--customers.