On the Web: Dont You Forget About Me
The jury will be out for some time on just how much money can be made directly from social media. But retailers rooted in stores, catalogs and the web have worked diligently to explore ways they can squeeze incremental revenue from this emerging channel.
In fact, 91 percent of companies polled in a recent study by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth said they used at least one social media site in 2009. Eighty-two percent said they used Twitter successfully, while 87 percent found success with other social networking sites.
Many have done a great job exploiting social media for customer retention, customer service, branding, merchandising, special offers, search and contests. A number of these companies — such as Best Buy, Toys "R" Us, Amazon.com and Target — Tweeted and sent Facebook alerts about their big holiday sales last November and December to cash in on bargain-hungry shoppers.
But while so many marketers have been Johnny-on-the-spot in keeping up with this medium and its technology, a good many of them are, nevertheless, forgetting about … ME.
Not a Technophobe, But …
Who's ME? I'm a potentially viable social media customer whom you've yet to come anywhere near close to tapping, that's who. Let me tell you a little about myself as a "young," 49-year-old baby boomer, because you may be missing out on a treasure trove of people like me:
- For my new job with a trade association, I need to be on top of most technological advances, but I'm hardly a techie. However, I'm no technophobe either.
- I like to socialize by seeing friends in person, calling them or emailing them.
- I don't text very much. When I do, it's usually only to my 19-year-old son. Like other teens and college kids, he texts more times in an hour than most people send emails in a month.
- I barely scratch the surface on Facebook or Twitter. I've set up accounts on both but rarely use them, opting for simple email instead.
A lot of people like me don't "do" social media. We don't want to spend all that time gabbing in 140 characters or less, nor do we care to go to a fan page of some retailer, online merchant or cataloger.