Social Media for Business

Social Media for Business

Highlights by David Willden

Social Media for Business. Merriam Webster defines social media as “forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).”

Oxford defines social media as “websites and applications used for social networking.” And, social networking is defined as “the use of dedicated websites and applications to communicate informally with other users, or to find people with similar interests to oneself.”

Cambridge defines social media as “forms of media that allow people to communicate and share information using the internet or mobile phones: Blogs, podcasts and other forms of social media are creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs to reach the public.

In simple terms, social media is an online way for people to communicate and connect with family, friends, professionals, and social acquaintances.

Deep Hunger

David Evans, in his book Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day writes:

The voice of the individual is again asserting its fundamental value, this time expressed through its role in building the collective conversation as it now occurs online. The Social Web-the combination of social networks, photo and video sharing, blogs, and early conversational communities…are bringing the consumer voice to the fore in a big way.

The the social media trends we are seeing reflect a deep hunger that we as humans have to learn, connect, express themselves, grow, and to discover new opportunities. Improved communications are open doors in new ways that we could not have envisioned. Social Media for Business

It can be argued that what turned the United States from being an economically weak country in the 1800s to a prosperous one in the 1990s tied to the general belief in the freedom of speech and religion, and advances in communications. Whether or not our future will be positive will depend on the values we cherish (or not) and the choices we make. American Historian Daniel Howe cautioned that better and more open communication does not necessarily lead to increased harmony.

Benefits of Social Media

Is social media for business?  There are several benefits that may be derived through social media. These include:

  • Expand friendships and network: Social network communities are a great and simple way to begin to expand your network.
  • Lower Cost: Can be done on a low budget. The primary benefit to using social media is in the relationship value of the community you create or join. So the cost of using many social media tools is free or low.
  • Understand needs: By being involved in social media communities related to your target topic areas, you become more informed on what customers care about, and what is happening in the industry
  • Build Trust: Social media is all about sincere conversations and building relationships. Organizations that communicate with a human voice do well in social media. A corporate voice, doesn’t work.
  • Learn: Most people have a deep hunger for learning. Social media can provide the ability for people to learn something new every day. The best learning occurs from listening to conversations and reading articles shared by your community.
  • Enjoy: Those who embrace social media tend to really enjoy it, especially as they begin building a brand.
  • Brand Awareness: Identifying and building a brand is important to business success. Some argue that brand equity is the most valuable marketing asset that can be achieved. An effective social media strategy can be an outstanding way to build brand.
  • Loyalty: Producing content considered useful by your community produces loyalty and can also produce viral marketing value.
  • SEO: Social media can significantly improve your organic search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. When you produce good content online in social platforms, people may link to and share your content with others. In turn, those links help give your website authority to the search engines, especially Google, which places most of its ranking criteria on the link popularity of your content.

Social Media is Changing the Marketing World

Social media continues to capture more of people’s time as a place to interact and communicate with people and businesses of their choosing. Social media is becoming more and more mainstream. In an article titled “Are You Interacting or Interrupting Potential Customers?” Laura Lake writes:

  • Are traditional marketing methods really dying? I think you can answer that on your own without any research statistics. All you have to do is think of your own lifestyle and those around you for a moment. How many times do you flip past an advertising page when you are reading a magazine? How many of you block channels on your television?….
  • It’s time for advertising executives to stop scratching their heads and pay attention to overwhelming statistics that show consumers now want to be interacted and engaged with. Stop shouting at them – in today’s society if it’s not interactive it’s just interruptive.
  • Now, we can all sit back in our high back chair and look out our windows and ignore what consumers are saying, but I’ll be the first to tell you that you just might be the next business that closes their doors if you don’t pay attention. The revolution of how marketing is changing is critical and if you don’t pay attention, you are putting your business at risk.
  • When we engage and we interact with potential customers, they listen. They are more receptive to hearing our message and paying attention to our brand. Studies are showing that consumers are willing to engage with and buy from brands that interact and engage with them.

Social Media for Business

Social Media for Business