SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) -- Social media is becoming one more way to generate the "wow" that translates into higher sales -- not to mention one more way to lose a job.
WWJ Newsradio 950 will be taking a look at the latest and greatest in using social media to build your business Thursday morning at Schoolcraft College's VisTaTech Center in Livonia. Sign up at this link -- the event is free.
WWJ morning anchor Roberta Jasina will moderate. The event is sponsored in part by Strategic Staffing Solutions and the VisTaTech Center.
In one recent study in Social Media Examiner, marketer interest is growing in some bookmarking sites like Pinterest, but declining in other bookmarking sites like De.licio.us and Digg. And marketer interest is plunging in daily deal sites.
Also according to the study, marketers who spend more than 40 hours a week on social media are more heavily focused on Pinterest, Google, Instagram and YouTube than those who spending 6 hours a week or less on social media marketing.
And business-to-consumer marketers have adopted Facebook at a greater rate than business-to-business marketers, while the opposite is true of LinkedIn, which is beloved of the B2B crowd.
The survey found 67 percent of marketers planning to increase Twitter activities, down from 69 percent last year and 73 percent in 2011.
Also, younger marketers are much more likely to use photo sharing sites such as Instagram than their older counterparts.
Meanwhile, a recent study by Harris Interactive and CareerBuilder found that 43 percent of hiring managers who research candidates via social media say they've found information that caused them not to hire someone. This number is up 9 percentage points from last year.
The amount of employers who research candidates via social media is also up this year. Thirty-nine percent of hiring managers say they use social media to vet applicants, compared with 37 percent last year.
Reasons social media posts can put the kibosh on your job search include posting "provocative or inappropriate" photos, references to drinking or using drugs, and bad-mouthing a previous employer.
However, social media can also put you in a good light. One in five hiring managers said they found something on social media that caused them to hire a candidate. Favorites included "conveying a professional image," showing a range of interests, and support of professional qualifications.
Overall, local social media experts say businesses have little choice these days but to get on social media, because that's where the customers are.
"Business use of social media generally follows the crowds because the businesses need to be where their consumers are," said Tonja Deegan, senior digital marketing manager for the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan. "Video use is continuing to rise, with the integration of Twitter and Vine and now Instagram videos."
As far as business size goes, she said, "Big brands have always done some variation of advertising on social networks but now smaller businesses are experimenting more with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn ads, in addition to the tried-and-true Google ads. The key now is to make best use of the advertising spend concurrently with the social conversations so they make the right customers at the right time."
Social media platforms themselves are evolving to meet advertiser and user demands, she added: "Foursquare, which started as an online checkin app, is integrating Yelp-like features as well as becoming a tool to find restaurants, stores and gas stations. Groupon recently launched Groupon Reserved, a higher end version of the service that still offers restaurant discounts but has coupled it with reservations."
And Joseph J. Serwach, managing director at Organik Consulting, said social media messaging is one more way to break down barriers and cultivate relationships with customers.
Serwach said "wow" moments "are opportunities to deepen and build the relationship: to move you from stranger to acquaintance, from acquaintance to friend or from like to love. Those 'wow' moments make us lower our shields and connect with a person, an organization or a cause. They happen in person and they happen digitally as well. 'Getting to Wow' moments happen every day at work, they happen when we read or hear particularly interesting news we then share, they happen every day when we feel we suddenly "need" to buy something or go somewhere."
More of Serwach's thoughts on "getting to wow" with social media at http://organikconsulting.com/blog/item/61-getting-to-wow.
And veteran marketer Daniel Saad of DJS Communications LLC said he's working with two clients that are making inroads into social marketing.
Metro Detroit-based Otter Co., a maker of weatherproof outerwear for golfers, uses a combination of Facebook and Twitter primarily for customer relationship building. "Where's Otter?" is a Facebook-based program that encourages Otter owners to post pictures of themselves, in their Otter gear, whereever they're wearing it.
"We've had posts from many golf venues (naturally), but also posts from London, Cairo, even Graceland!" Saad said. "We've also had posts from cross country skiing, Antiques Road Show and various special events."
Otter also uses Twitter to raise brand awareness around golf tournaments, Tweeting comments on the weather (to promote Otter apparel), the leaders and the winners. I also Tweet progress of a U.S.-based golfer who is playing on the LET and wearing Otter gear.
Saad said the plan for the future is to more fully integrate these early social media marketing steps with wider programs aimed at Facebook friends and Twitter followers – for now, Otter is still growing those followings.
Also, Tata Technologies, the global provider of engineering and design services to the manufacturing industry worldwide has a presence on Facebook and Twitter, but relies primarily on LinkedIn in an effort to become "an aspirational employer, an employer of choice to leading professionals and to attract top graduates." On LinkedIn, Tata offers commentary and information relating to technical employment and innovation.
In the future, Tata Technologies plans to develop discussion groups specific to in-demand disciplines to provide a gathering place for these individuals, and boost the company's recruiting efforts.
Tata is in earlier stages of developing a presence on Twitter and Facebook presences. But Saad said that for Tata Technologies, "commerce via social media is not a realistic goal ... as high-end engineering and design services are not commodity sales; but social media can be instrumental in developing the relationships necessary to influencing decisions around product development and program and platform outsourcing."
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