by Allison Carter, Roundpeg Intern

We’re continuing our look at Effect Web Agency’s excellent white paper on the major risks of casual web investment. This week, we’ll talk about the marketing tool business owners love or hate: social media.

Whether you like it or not, social media is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. One study found that 122 million Americans use social media–that’s 64% of all Internet users. Social media is critical for capturing word of mouth buzz: 66% of people on social networking sites have asked their friends or followers to help them make a purchasing decision, and 78% of users trust peer recommendations over ads or search engine results.

When Graco decided to use social media to create a community of users and support its  blog, it earned increased media coverage, an increase in positive online mentions (up from 68% positive to 83% positive), and an active, passionate community of members. Graco succeeded by getting customers involved and excited about its product, creating an open dialogue rather than preaching or pushing ads.

If you’re not on social media, you don’t get to be a part of the discussion. If someone tweets a complaint, you don’t have a chance to respond. If someone has a problem, you can’t use the medium to solve it quickly and efficiently. If someone spreads a falsehood, you don’t get a chance to respond.

Social media can seem scary from the outside, but the benefits are huge. Get in there, play around, and reap the benefits.

If you have any questions, please call us at Roundpeg, an Indianapolis web design firm.