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To Tweet or Not to Tweet, That Tis the Question
by Susan J. Campbell

Susan is a marketing consultant for Blue Valley Telemarketing company and offers this independent review on their behalf.

Gone are the days that social media is viewed as the treat it was just a few short years ago. Social media channels today are playing an interesting role in the future of conversations between companies and their customers. Facebook and Foursquare are more than a way to stay connected with old classmates or find out the location of the big party. This digital mainstay is giving online publishers the ability to connect with their core audience.

The opportunity to grow far outweighs the threat associated with social media channels. Regardless of which way the traffic is driven, companies are able to gain insight from engaging customers, collecting research and posting their information. The best part is that industry professionals are using social media just as much as the younger crowd.

The publishing world now views social media as a positive exchange with subscribers that best correlates their intentions and creates an advocacy for the company's brand. What an untapped marketing tool.

A Blue Valley Telemarketing poll of industry professionals revealed how often social media is used and if there is a strong strategy behind it. Because of the abundance of opportunities outside the realm of telemarketing, it is important to recognize what drives successful campaigns. Current strategies may need to be shifted in order to compliment more social media channels that inform and connect businesses and their customers.

That same poll also illustrated that only half of the participants are relying on social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for locating resources in their regular work days. When it comes to everyday behavior, social media is not relevant for many publishers. This is surprising considering the possibilities.

On the other hand, 66 percent of these same professionals claimed to be using social media channels to keep up on what their peers are doing within the industry. This clearly shows the value social media brings to the table. However, they aren't utilizing the channels to obtain more information about what is cutting edge in the industry. News items aren't necessarily on their meter just yet. It's a clear indicator that even industry leaders still put a lot of stock into evolution within their own spaces.

But as far as communication goes, no one seems to be using social media as a primary communication feature. This goes for communication between colleagues or vendors and publishers. While these professionals view this as unnecessary, it is a topic that should be discussed. Many who were polled appeared to seem confused as to how social media channels can be used in this aspect or even their full potential.

Despite all the evidence, publishers still don't see the benefits of using social media tools. From interacting with others in the industry or their own vendors, many of them still lack the desire to use these beneficial channels for communication. LinkedIn, SKYPE, Twitter, and Facebook are all great portals these industry leaders could be using to successfully interact with one another.

In the year ahead, publishers will need to recognize the benefits of all that social media channels have to offer. Improving the way they communicate with their peers and vendors is pertinent for success and social media is the ideal platform to do this. Whether it's sharing ideas on new strategies or creating superior campaigns, social media plays an important role in this transition.

Blue Valley Telemarketing is already ahead of schedule in 2013. The company has been dabbling in quite a few social media channels and investigating the possibilities it brings to connect with their clients. This year, BVTM plans to ramp up its efforts and improve an already existing social media strategy to deliver the best customer content.