The power of social media is pretty evident. It has long been understood in the world of advertising that a personal referral is worth its weight in gold, so when that personal referral can be shared with a user’s entire online community it carries so much more weight than any advertisement or marketing campaign ever could.
One Baltimore-based business has harnessed the power of online media to help shape the direction of his business. As Gus Sentementes of the Baltimore Sun recently reported, Ron Samuelson, of Samuelson’s Diamonds, has a Facebook following of over 500,000 users. This large user base helps him shape the direction of his business; Ron uses this online community, not to market to, but rather “to build a worldwide community of fans of diamonds, who incidentally might choose to buy jewelry from his store. He regularly polls the fans of the page to gauge changing tastes and trends in jewelry. For instance, do they prefer yellow or white gold, or platinum settings?”
Ron has really embraced social media, and truly understands that it is really a two-way dialogue, and so it should be treated as one. Companies that understand this can really uncover the power that social media has to offer. You shouldn’t have a Facebook page, Twitter Account, and Blog simply to push out more marketing messages, but you should use it as a dialogue between you and your customers.
I suggest taking a few minutes to read the article on the Baltimore Sun’s website, it’s a great case study on how to effectively use social media. Great job by Gus in explaining it.