This week as Facebook surpassed Google in terms of overall traffic, it provides evidence to my perception that social media is vastly becoming a Marketing Tsunami. Now that Facebook has 450+ million users, if it were a country it would be the third largest in the world behind China and India. Just 6 short months ago FB would have ranked 4th behind the United States, but has quickly maneuvered ahead.
Let’s consider the historical warning signs of this phenomenon. For years to reach 50 millions users: it took Radio 38 Years, TV-13 Years, Internet – 4 Years, iPod – 3 Years and Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 month. IPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.
What force is driving this huge wave of information that is rapidly stretching out and putting television, radio and print media to shame? While viewing Eric Qualman’s video on Social Media Revolution, it become more obvious to me that Social Media is not only lending to buyer behavior, it is more or less dictating buyer activities.
The statistics are astounding and these hundreds of million users say they prefer to view a peer recommendation over traditional advertising. According to Facebook, only 14% of their users trust traditional advertisements. Savvy shoppers are no longer going into the marketplace without delving into the social ranks for assistance. Unless a product also has social support riding on the surge of information, it could become dead in the water.
Moreover, consider the effects this movement is having on American institutions such as the US Postal Service and newspaper industry as a whole. Items such as news and mail are finding us, where the need to “wait” on the 5 o’clock news is passé for generations across the board. Joe Puzilli once said ‘we are seeing nothing less than a tsunami affecting business of every size’ in reference to Social Media. The Mom & Pop businesses that won the battles against big business may now lose the war if they don’t pay attention and defend themselves within Social Networks.
A remarkable platform has emerged allowing you to engage in conversation with your customers. No longer can you simply sell your products straight away without building a relationship with buyers. If you are not using these social mediums to listen to consumers, build your brand and increase sales you are falling way behind. Socialnomics may compel us to action as in the self-help quote “Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to meet it.”