The Social Shake-Up conference, provides marketing professionals with new insight and information about the ways that social media is impacting the business world.

Social media is changing the way that businesses seek opportunities for growth. No longer marketing to the masses, businesses now see social media as the driver and as the tool for human-to-human interactions based on relationships. In order to increase revenue, businesses are focusing on the relationships they have with their customers, instead of simply looking at the exchange of goods and services.

The marketing minds behind such companies as Coca-Cola, Google, Adobe, Netflix and Whole Foods were gathered in Atlanta to share their expertise about how to harness the power of social media for successful business practices. Here are a few themes that were discussed at the conference:

Loyalty and its role in business is changing. Loyalty has traditionally been discussed in business as relating to brand loyalty, but its role is becoming more complex. Not only is it valuable for customers to be loyal to a brand, but businesses are developing concepts of being loyal to customers. Through social media, a company can use its tools to shout about the brand, but they can also, and perhaps more importantly, offer helpful information or tips to the customer to show that they are valued.

Mass marketing is being replaced by more specific, individualized marketing. Wave marketing: Customers that begin to love a product will tell their friends about it on social media, and then those friends try that product and go on to tell their friends about it on social media, and so on. This process of friends telling friends resembles a wave at a baseball game, with the effects of each person’s individual action rolling and causing a wave of activity.

Teamwork: The concept of teamwork is another way that marketing has changed. Customers are collaborating on their purchasing through sites like Facebook and Pinterest. They are also using non-traditional ways of purchasing, such as bartering and sharing products. There is a sense of “we’re in this together” within social media discussions related to purchasing.

Human-to-Human: The business-to-customer and business-to-business models are also being replaced by human-to-human interactions on social media. The idea behind social media was, at its heart, to build relationships. Businesses are realizing the value of building relationships in a way that recognizes that there is an actual person on each end of the interaction and that there is value in individualized marketing.

Creating an online community benefits the company and its customers. Companies like Sephora are using social media to initiate conversations between business representatives and customers, but also allowing customers plenty of time to interact with one another. The result is that products are discussed at length for their benefits, as well as what could improve their quality. Sephora gets an inside look at what customers value, while customers receive valuable information about how to shop for the best products and use them well.

Online communities like this help a company communicate its “secret sauce” (the one thing they have that brings customers back again and again) without them ever having to broadcast it themselves. The customers are loyal to a quality experience and they will tell others what the secret sauce is.

The Social Media Today Social Shake-Up allowed marketing experts new ideas to consider for their clients. The impact of social media on marketing is changing everything about the way that companies attract business and maintain a healthy customer base. It’s all about the relationship.

Susan J Campbell
President of SJC Marketing

Susan J. Campbell is a marketing and content creation professional with more than 20 years in the B2B world. As a writer, marketer and business owner, she understands the challenges today’s organizations face when trying to dominate the market. With a team of experienced marketing communications professionals at SJC Marketing, she helps both businesses and non-profits navigate opportunities both online and in print to maximize their reach and grow their market share. Susan is a graduate of Missouri Western State University with a bachelor’s of science degree in Business Administration with a marketing emphasis. She is a Past President of the Eastside Rotary Club and is actively involved with a number of local community organizations.