Introduction to Social Media for Business, part 1

By Allan B. Colombo
Senior Design Specialist

Social media is trending. It’s in the news each and every day. If it’s not done correctly, you won’t get the results you want. If you do it right, it increases the chances that you will. Many of us use it daily for personal use while others employ it for business. But they’re often left scratching their heads, asking themselves, “Why isn’t it working for me?”

Let’s first define Social Media: According to the Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, social media includes all “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos).”1

For most of us, involvement in social media is a given, not an option. The way the online world works almost demands that anyone in business communicate on the three major social media outreach platforms, and that includes Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and not necessarily in that order. It’s literally changing the way we do business and its influence in society is almost certain to grow even stronger.

Before going any further, let’s be clear on one point: Social Media encompasses more than three social media channels. To truly be “social,” it must include anything that supports communication of any kind, such as the following:

  • Blogs
  • Forums
  • Photo Sharing Spaces
  • Podcasts
  • Video Sharing Spaces
  • Social Bookmark Websites
  • Social Media Networking Platforms
So the question often comes up among business owners, “why is Social Media all that important?” The answer to this is comprised of the following points of interest:
  • to extend our companies market reach
  • to build a community of followers
  • to increase awareness of our brand
  • to test ideas within the market itself
  • to drive traffic to our website
  • to open new markets that have been unreachable until now
  • to personalize our company’s customer service
  • to create excitement about a product or an event
  • to generate anticipation for a new product or service roll out
  • to personalize our business by putting a face to key individuals
Social media is not for everyone and for every business. In part 2 of this series on social media basics, we’ll discuss how you know social media is for you, as well as how to prepare yourself and your company for its use. We’ll also cover the steps you should take if you choose to create a social media strategy, plus much more.

Introduction to Social Media for Business, Part 2
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