It was the email I’d been waiting three months to receive- the Wheel of Fortune call back invitation. It was formal, including the “when”, “where”, and eligibility rules, but no information on what to expect in the auditions. Where would I turn for this information? Social media.

“Be honest with yourself. Don’t spend time and money coming to the audition if you will not be able to show us your enthusiasm. Do you think you can solve puzzles under pressure on national television? Can you call out letters with a strong, clear voice?” The email itself had me so nervous that I wasn’t sure if I could! Immediately, I turned to the place where I could find the information that would put my mind at ease.

With a simple search engine inquiry, I found a few “real-life” encounters in just a few minutes. Besides, it was the questions like “What do I wear?”, “How many people are in the audition?”, and “How many puzzles do I get a stab at?” that I really wanted answers to. I’d read blogs for business purposes many times, but never really sought out a personal blog, and even questioned their purpose.  But this day proved that the possibilities of knowledge that people seek are endless.

I, and the marketing team at MPAY, have been utilizing forms of social media for years as a way to further engage customers.  Many business owners and executives have been slow to adopt social media, but the need for information now outweighs the learning curve associated with adapting to a new communication method. Some of the earliest forms of social media were not digital; in fact, they were cave wall paintings. Needless to say, the changes in technology over the past 20,000 years have shaped how we communicate.

Whether it’s blogs, microblogs (Twitter), social news sites (Digg), content communities (YouTube), social networking sites (facebook), or mobile space-locaters like Yelp, consumers are accessing social media content today more than ever. Businesses should be utilizing social media for marketing research, communication, sales promotions and discounts, relationship development, and more.

A 2010 study by the University of Maryland suggested that social media services may be addictive, [1] and that using social media services may lead to a “fear of missing out”. I didn’t feel comfortable heading into the Wheel of Fortune audition with that fear. When it comes to attracting and retaining customers through social media engagement, are you missing out?

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[1] “Students Addicted to Social Media- New UM Study

Photo Credit: MarioGS

Amy Robertson

From her office in Roanoke, VA, Amy manages “all things marketing” for MPAY. Her most recent bragging rights include becoming a Net Promoter Certified Associate.