Social Media in Business

by Caroline

Happy Friday, everyone!! Hope you’re all enjoying this beautiful spring-like weather : )

I have kind of a random post planned for today, but it’s a topic that I find really interesting: social media in business. As bloggers, we are very familiar with social media. Many of us use it to share our ideas and stay connected, but how does the idea and use of social media change when you are utilizing it to promote and market your business?

What is Social Media?

Social media is the use of technology to co-create, know, like, and trust. Social Media is changing the face of marketing and business all over the world. While traditional marketing tactics such as advertising, referrals, and public relations are still very important, social media tactics have now become a part of everyday marketing’s fabric and need to be considered at the strategic level of a marketing decision-making process. In the past, marketing was centered around the 4 P’s (product, price, produce, and promotion), but today marketing is shifting towards the “4 C’s” – content, context, connections, community.

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing says,

Marketing today focuses on tons of relevant, education-based, and perhaps user generated content that is filtered, aggregated, and delivered in a context that makes it useful for people who are starving to make connections with people, products, and brands they can build a community around.

With the growing popularity of Social Media, it is critical for companies and brands to establish presence in the major online channels. By engaging with customers in a manner that is comfortable and convenient for them, many businesses are seeing an increase in customer engagement and loyalty.

What Social Media can do for a Business:

  • Spread content and expertise to new audiences
  • Network with like-minded individuals and companies
  • Build a community of loyal customers and followers
  • Involve customers and prospects in co-creation of a business plan
  • Reach new audiences in the exact way they choose to communicate
  • Be seen as a leader in the industry
  • Easily hear everything that’s being said online about a brand, product, or industry
  • Be seen as a trusted source of information

How to Use Social Media Strategically:

  • Integrate social media with other marketing tactics, don’t treat it as something separate. Feature links to your social media profiles on business cards and email signatures.
  • Partake in continuous learning. Closely follow people on Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites who have a reputation for putting out great content and listen and learn. This will allow you to be smarter about your business and industry than most and you will eventually gain the knowledge and confidence to fully utilize what social media has to offer.
  • Build a community beyond your business, create a space where customers can share advice and knowledge, let customers contribute ideas, and help others promote you.
  • For more tips, see Inc. Magazine’s advice.

Do you use social media in your business? How important do you feel that it is in today’s business world?

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~ by freshinkblog on February 18, 2011.

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