I meet people either in business meetings or in my personal life that tell me how excited they are on using social media, how much fun they have blogging – though they are the only reader of their blog – or that they use Twitter to let people know what they are getting for lunch, or on Facebook talking to their friends. They assume simply being on these platforms means they “leverage” social media!
The aforementioned led me to decide to write a series of posts attempting to better clarify the following:
- What social media is in very simple terms
- Why we should care about social media
- How we can business benefit from social media
- What the myths are surrounding social media.
“We can’t allow the employees to use this; we will loose control of our brand; our confidentiality will be breached; employees will take time away from their work; legal implications of the FDIC regulating communications – legal liability.”
What do you think they are talking about? Is it Facebook, Blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn?
The answer is: none of the above. The conversation was about using email.
Nowadays we are totally dependent on email; faxes and memos are now almost obsolete and social media is slowly replacing email which was once considered a fad, waste of time. For the younger generation, the so-called “fad, waste of time” today is social media.
What social media in very simple terms:
Social media is a 2-way conversations to facilitate continuing dialogue, and communication with intended audience. It is about building and nurturing relationships. It allows community interaction using web 2.0.
Social media includes: Search engines, social networks, blogs, Vblogs, micro-blogs, message boards, instant messaging (IM), webcasts, email and podcasts, it is created by the people for the people. The individuals forming these online networks use social media to organize themselves according to:
- Their interests/ likes and dislikes
- Their preferences on sharing, storing, and delivering information between themselves Individuals using these networks connect ONLY with the people they want to connect to, the way that they choose to, discuss the topics they choose to. The individual is the centre of the social media revolution, and not the companies or their products anymore; it is changing the way business is conducted.
The secret of social media is about creating value for the communities that happen to include them; it is about offering solutions to their problems and satisfying their needs.
If a company wants to make a positive impact, they should start thinking about how they can contribute to their audience and their communities. The more the companies will give the more they will get back.
Social media is causing a fundamental shift in how people use the Internet and how they interact with each other online. It is about how the Internet has evolved into a communication medium between peers or members of a community. For a marketer this means that social media must be used to analyze brand sentiment, listen to customer needs, recruit talent and collaborate with partners
Social networking is like a being at a live cocktail party only with no constraint of time or place where you meet people carry conversations, build relationships and exchange business cards. Social networks are online meeting places that allow consumers and influencers to create, share, interact and build content on: Blogs, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Flickr, Technorati, Digg, newsvine.
It is important for companies to realize that if they don’t join the online conversations that are already taking place about their brand, they might damage their image forever, or they will be left alone in the cold.
Next blog will be about the different social media networks and how to use each of their unique features.
See you soon, Happy Holidays,