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Why Your Business Needs to be More Social

In the mid nineties, a few businesses started informational Web sites. The Luddites looked on bemused, thinking to themselves that this ‘internet thing’ will never catch on. A few years later those same Luddites were sneering at those business owners who were setting up full e-commerce Web sites. This time they may have been thinking how unlikely it would be for people to choose to buy something over the Internet. History is peppered with the Luddite way of thinking.

People are always slow to adopt new technology and ideas, partly through fear of change and partly due to lack of knowledge. The adoption of social media strategies by businesses is no exception. Many business owners may have heard of social media but don’t really know what it is and some may know what it is, but aren’t too sure how to utilise it. Social media is here to stay and what is certain now, is that every business should have a social media presence in order to remain competitive in the future.

But why, I hear the Luddites cry in unison! With Facebook having around 600 million users worldwide (January 2011 figures) and Twitter users tweeting a billion tweets a week (March 2011 figures) it would be commercial suicide to ignore the wealth of information social media platforms could potentially provide. Somebody, somewhere out there in the social media ether, is tweeting about your product or possibly saying negative things about your company on their Facebook page.

A conversation is happening about you. Would it not make good business sense to become involved in that conversation? Having a social media presence is PR for the digital age. It enables you to keep abreast of your customers’ opinions and lessen the blow any negative opinions may have on your business by providing a channel with which to defend yourself.

Social media is also an invaluable tool for getting to know your customers’ likes and dislikes. At one time companies would have had to spend enormous amounts of money on market research in order to glean this information. Nowadays much of this data is accessible from the Internet. Using this valuable resource of customer opinion can be a good base from which to develop products and design new ones. Remember the old adage ‘the customer is always right’?

For years corporations have been somewhat faceless and distant from their customers, the only presence coming from TV and radio ads, or from a bored looking shop assistant who is fed up of his or her weekend job. Another reason why businesses must have a social media presence is that it gives corporations a more human presence as platforms like Twitter and Facebook enable communication which is tailored to an individual customer unlike older mediums such as TV and radio which broadcast to the ‘average’ customer. Also many people today, particularly the younger generation, almost expect a business to have a social media presence that they can access to find information about companies and their products.

These days it’s no longer enough to have a Web site only. With the advent of Web 2.0 sites, everybody has access to a publishing platform on the Internet with the potential to reach millions worldwide in seconds. To forgo this powerful access tool would be foolish in the best case scenario and detrimental to your business in the worst.

Alastair Kane is an avid blogger and social media expert who works for a social media agency in the UK

Posted in Social Networking. Tags: , ,

6 Replies

  1. I agree with this article, it is very important in a business that needs to be more in Social Media, in maintaining the free provided services. We found out that these social sites it gives a high traffic on our site and a lot of people were be able to see how social sites is very powerful and very friendly to use. so why not we use it?

    As a business,we should keep track of such changes. Social Media is all the rage amongst the business fraternity nowadays..

    Thank you for sharing this..

  2. Me too I agree, we need to promote our business online to gain traffic. We have to promote it via social sites because these sites gives a high traffic to our sites. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. I totally agree. In this information age, Social Media becomes a great tool to promote our blogs. We have to take advantage of some sites like Twitter and Facebook to improve our traffic. Thanks a lot for sharing this informative article, Alastair.

  4. I do agree too. we need to be more in social medias in business. as all people see how social sites powerful and helpful as well. thanks for the information.

  5. Yes, this really does matter to be socially active for a business to gain more goodwill and brand awareness.

  6. Using social media to promote your business is no longer an option, the question is what are the best ways to use it to build enduring relationships with your customers.

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