Traditional business just doesn't seem to cut it anymore. Giant social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, along with a slew of new sites, like Pinterest, are dominating big and small business marketing strategies.
So how you can get in on the action? Social media superstars Guy Kawasaki and Mari Smith breakdown the 7 social media trends dominating business interactions:
1. Big Brand Bypass: New platforms are allowing more consumers to bypass brands and instead sell or exchange directly with one other.
"Marketing is much flatter now," Kawasaki said. "Word of mouth is now what makes products tip. Ideas like Pinterest allow a sort of disintermediation where people can go directly to the user, media or artist. It is brilliant."
2. Humanize to Monetize: In today's world, personality means profit. Bland, self-serving and inflexible brands are not what consumers are looking for. Mari Smith named big companies like Starbucks, Zappos, Southwest and Virgin Airlines that are doing it right with "great customer service."
"People are craving that human connection. They just want to be on the receiving end of a random act of kindness," Smith added.
3. Cause-Based Consumers: Business ethics, transparency and trust are becoming more and more important to individuals.
"Consumers have growing concerns that companies stand for things beyond the brand," Smith said. "We want to buy from a company that we know cares about the planet and animals."
4. Super Social Status: A rise in location-based services like Four Square or Facebook Places, have begun to place social connectedness above monetary or material status, as social credentials and connectivity become more important.
5. -- 7. Click here for the other business-boosting social media trends
Are you using social media in your business? Tell us how in the comment section below!
For more on genConnect:
- Guy Kawasaki on How to Be a Google Plus Master
- Google+ Has Huge Success, But Can it Rival Facebook?
- How Facebook Can Change the World
- New innovative social network, Honestly, Now
About the Authors:
Guy Kawasaki is the co-founder of Alltop.com , an "online magazine rack" of popular topics on the web, and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures.
Often referred to as "the Queen of Facebook", Mari Smith is a passionate Social Media Thought Leader, Relationship Marketing Specialist, and one of the world's foremost experts on Facebook marketing! She is author of The New Relationship Marketing and co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day .