What an exciting week! I was an active participant in a HUGE social media backlash, resulting from someone publishing an article containing a lot of inaccuracies about my beloved native Bahamas. Coming of the heels of a hotly contested general election, it was good to see folks come together despite their passionately expressed political differences!
More than the fact that I was totally POed by the article, I was extremely excited to see how Bahamians, like other nationalities, have embraced social media and used it to make a difference. Thanks to the outcry on Twitter and Facebook, we were successful in getting the article removed from the host site and I suspect that the journalist responsible and host site have each gained a new appreciation for the power of social media!
This weeks’ article, Why Social Media Matters, reinforces the argument for businesses to embrace Social Media as a part of its routine operational procedures.
Why Social Media Matters
Aside from the “social” side of Social Media, from a business perspective, it matters on so many levels.
Also referred to as the SOCIAL WEB, it is any platform that allows the creation and exchange of user generated content.
Given the many techniques and ways anyone with an internet connection can participate in this phenomenon, social media has substantially changed the way organizations, communities, and individuals communicate.
What is Social Media?
Social media, which facilitates social networking then is about reaching out to connect with others that you already know as well as those you have never met, but want to build and nurture a relationship with.
From a business standpoint, these might be prospects, customers, potential partners, vendors etc. In other words, people you might ordinarily interact with in an offline social setting but for the distance and lack of opportunity.
Why Use Social Media?
- Brand yourself as an expert in your niche/industry through your active participation.
- Lead Generation to grow your mailing list from networking in various platforms.
- Target Market Research & Interaction since you no longer have to spend a lot of many to learn about your prospects/customers. Just follow their activities to get clues.
- Promotional opportunities otherwise not accessible so long as you integrate these efforts smartly with the “social” side of things.
- Improved customer service since you can respond to complaints and queries instantly and stay on top of issues that might surface.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) since all Social Networks are indexed and provide a golden opportunity for your content to be found.
Bottom line? Non-participation is no longer an option! Your failure to pay attention to social media can hurt your brand. Remember that your customers and prospects will use social media to talk about you, good or bad and if you are not there to respond or defend yourself, your brand/business can be tarnished forever.
Watch my video that delves deeper into this topic and I share your social networking challenges below.
To your online success!