Social media is a phrase commonly used today in business, but as a concept it is often misunderstood. The recent technological advancements in this area have changed the traditional way of doing and advertising business. The avenues encompassed within the meaning of social media are growing at a rapid pace. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook used to dominate this arena in the last year. They have now been joined by ever-increasing in their popularity platforms such as Google+, Pinterest, Foursquares, Tumblr, YouTube, Kred, Klout, and many others.
Many people and companies are still failing to properly use social media as they do not grasp how to, the value of it and, the concept most businesses are most concerned about, its ability to provide return on investment.
It has been widely agreed within the worldwide business community that social media presence is a must for any brand if the brand wants to keep up with the times, increase brand awareness, stay current and not lose its customers. However, choosing the right social media platform and, more importantly, being able to keep up with it and produce the relevant content, is an ongoing challenge.
Social media is a communication outlet, which, unlike the traditional types of media in the form of radio, television and newspapers, produces a two-way communication channel allowing customers to provide feedback not just to the company but to the world at large. It is capable of global reach and can be edited in real-time. Each platform offers a different way of providing the brand’s offering to its customers, and targets different groups of people.
The question then posed by most companies is how many platforms of social media they need to have a constant presence on and which platforms are most effective. This in itself is a million dollar question. Different social media experts advocate for different platforms, and depending on the type of business, some platforms may not be suitable for a specific brand. In saying that, just having a passive presence on 10 or more social media sites does not create more business or more brand awareness, it may have the opposite effect. The targeted and thought-out approach is required, together with the use of some social media monitoring tools and PR management.
You will find that majority of content on the internet provides for sharing of it in the main social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These are the three power houses which still dominate the online space. However, the newer entrants such as Pinterest are increasing their presence and value produced very rapidly.
In any event, before venturing into the online world, businesses have to pause and consider their social media strategy, possibly with some help from the experts in this area. Once such strategy is created, outlining some goals and outcomes sought, the world is your oyster.
Do not be scared of the new technology and social media. These days the world is built on technology. Embrace it and learn to use it properly. The potential is endless, so start conquering the world one social media platform at a time.