During a conference call earlier this week, a participant used the acronym COI. I had never heard it before and wondered if it had an "old" meaning like ROI (Return On Investment) or a "new" one like SEM (Search Engine Marketing).
COI stands for Cost of Ignoring, and in this case it refers to getting involved—or rather, not—on social media.
When I am visiting with store owners about their marketing strategy, social media is a hot topic. Five years ago, very few retailers paid attention to social media. Today, Americans devote many hours per week (or per day!) to these toys/tools.
It's even going to play a big part in the Summer Olympics. Check out a portion of a recent infographic, which shows growth is mobile and social media during the past four years:
Facebook has more than 152 million users in the United States. That's more than two thirds of adults who use the Internet. The retail takeaway: Your community is online and you should be, too. What are you missing out on by ignoring this major force?
To name a few:
- Free marketing
- The chance to connect with customers long after they check out
- An opportunity promote new products, upcoming events and sales
- The best, and potentially viral, way to share your recipes and health articles
Many industry leaders and brands on are on these sites. Follow them and learn from what they are doing. Content that they post can be shared or retweeted, too, so you don't always have to come up with shareable ideas from scratch.
The important thing is to start using these tools today. What is ignoring this opportunity costing you?
These stores recognize COI and are actively using social media:
- Native Roots Market in Norman, Okla.
- Rollin' Oats in Tampa, Fla.
- Choices Natural Market in Venice, Fla.
- Nature's Food Market of Berlin, Ohio
What stores (maybe yours?) are doing a great job using social media? Share their names in the comments section so we can check them out.