I think the term “Social Media” sometimes gets a bad reputation.
Most people think social media means that you’re active on Facebook – posting pictures of your dinner, taking a selfie, sharing funny cat videos, and the like. While those may be examples of what you CAN do on social media, it does not define what social media actually is.
So, what is it? More importantly, why is it important for businesses?
Social Media, by definition, is any platform in which you can be social. It is any computer-mediated technology that allows for the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media)
How many social platforms are there?
There are thousands of ways to be social online. But you may find yourself asking, “Which channels should my business choose to be active?” Let’s examine the many social channels that are relevant to all businesses – whether B2B or B2C.
- Instagram (owned by Facebook)
Now let’s dig a little deeper.
There are approximately 7.2 billion people on earth. 3 billion of those have Internet access; 2.1 billion are active on social media; and 1.7 billion use social networks from a mobile device. All of them have opinions and many are using Social Media to share them. People are changing the way they buy, sell and market based upon the relevance of being social. Your audience is online, and you should be, too.
Referrals and word-of-mouth marketing have always been important, but now they contain even more power than ever before. What used to happen over dinner time conversations, has now morphed into crowdsourcing or video testimonials. Customer service has always been important, but now businesses can see real time where they stand with their base (online reviews are VITAL to your business). This is a critical position for businesses. What is the #1 reason businesses should be online? Because their customers are! How will you reach your customers, if you aren’t utilizing the same areas online that they are?
Meet them where they are. Relate to them. Respond to their questions and concerns in a timely manner. Build a positive relationship and watch the positive feedback flow.
Whether you choose to utilize social platforms or not, know this: your brand is out there being represented. Harness the power and be in control of the message.
Need help determining what social channels you should be active on and the strategy behind what you should be posting? Stay tuned for our “Social Channel Breakdown” blogs coming in 2017, or give us a call at (419) 363-2817 to discuss how Brand It Marketing Communications can help you harness the power of social media.