According to a recent BIA/Kelsey Press Release:


  • 9% of small businesses (SMBs) use Twitter to market themselves.
  • 32% of SMBs intend to use social media in their marketing in the next 12 months
  • 39%  plan to include customer ratings or reviews on their own websites, and
  • 31% plan to place links or ads on social sites or blogs.


This is only in regards to Twitter, but may offer insight into the larger scope of Social Media usage.  I’ve been wondering why there hasn’t been more adoption of Social Media in the mix of marketing plans.  Perhaps it’s that companies can’t fully understand how to use it, or don’t know how to explain it to the higher ups in a way that makes sense for integration.  If that is the case I’ve composed a sample letter to help articulate the benefits to your boss.  I’d love to know if you found this helpful and if you have any strategies to increase adoption of Social Media from a company’s perspective. 


To Whom It May Concern:


I’ve been thinking about our communication efforts online with our (insert one: patients, customers, consumers) and I don’t feel as though we have begun to grasp what Social Media can offer us.  Our site seems more like an information board rather than a portal to two way dialogue.


I believe with a little discipline and creativity we can use the wide reach of Social Media to our advantage.  If you look at how many people are signed up for various Social Media sites according to Nielsen you will find that our reach can be so much more widespread than a newspaper ad, or TV spot. 


Nielsen Social Media Usage 

In addition to furthering our reach, we are moving from an interruptive form of marketing, to a direct, targeted, open dialogue form, where people opt in to hearing from us and communicate when they have some down time.  What I’m saying is we have the opportunity to communicate with prospective (insert one: patients, customers, consumers) right when they are looking for us!  Just because we aren’t listening to the conversations, doesn’t mean they aren’t taking place.  We have a choice to make: stay passive, or become involved in the dialogue. 



Some Additional Benefits:


  • Humanizing our Brand – Social Media can give us a little personality and all correspondence should come from a real human that exemplifies our core values.
  • Self-Publishing - Press Releases no longer need to be picked up by the media for release.  We can post them on our site, with optimization for search engines as a bonus, and then they can be picked up.
  • Deepened Relationships through Real Time Interactions – Social Media allows us to have this incredible transparency, which can seem scary, but is actually an incredible thing.  We can tell the instant that someone has mentioned us on Twitter, which means we can respond proactively.  There will be more and more of this so we might as well get used to it, and be on the forefront of how we can use this transparency to our advantage. 
  • Blog Syndication – Once we’ve written our Press Releases, or blog entries, they can make it easy for them to be shared, and syndicated.  We’ve already written the material, it might as well make it to the masses. 


You are probably wondering how we can quantify our efforts.  We’ll track our progress by making note of how many relationships we are cultivating, and how many are clicking through to our site.  In addition, we will also be able to tell when our blog posts get syndicated to other sites, which only means more free exposure for us.  But, it really is about more than just the numbers.  We may have trouble counting how many brand advocates we obtain, or how many people genuinely enjoy our correspondence.  It’s about the relationships, and the community around our brand that can come from Social Media that are much more effective than a “contact us” page. 


If you are on board for a trial period let’s integrate social media into our marketing plan and take baby steps, maybe start with an hour a day of developing and monitoring our online presence through social media. 


What do you think?



(Name here)