Is Your Business “Socially” Acceptable?
We hear much about Social Media these days, and for many business owners, social media means different things. The term is used vaguely and can be used to described any website, or app (an application downloaded to a mobile device), where people can connect with other people, brands, or businesses.
If we break the term up, we would define “social” as an interaction between people, much like a conversation. “Media” would be defined as a source of communication, like TV, newspapers, or in today’s more thought of usage, the internet. Social Media is a way to have a conversation or an interaction with your business through the internet. Whether we personally like or dislike social media, how can your business benefit in using social media?
It is estimated the average person has five social media accounts and spends over an hour visiting these throughout the day – yes – every day. For teens, it is even higher! It has become a way to stay connected in real time with friends and family, as well as getting the daily news, including sports, weather, and general information – and connect with local businesses.
Can My Business Really Benefit From Social Media?
Every business type is different and whether your customers want to stay connected and hear more about your business probably depends on your business and what you have to say. Or are you wanting to stay better connected with your customers? As an example, Olive Garden has over six million fans and a post from this past week yielded over 12,000 likes and 784 shares (the average person on Facebook has 338 friends. With 784 shares, that may mean almost a quarter million people who may not be connected to (liked) the Olive Garden, such as this picture/post.
Developing a social media plan as a part of your marketing plan makes sense. These are already your customers, and they may want to hear from your business. Deciding which social media sites will work for your business may be the tricky part – as they all may not be right for your business. Social media takes time and the right strategy may pay off big time.
Today’s top social media sites include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. As well as a couple others, which may not seem like social media websites, but they certainly can be, for example, YouTube and Reddit. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of all of these, as history tells us these will change over time. You might remember Myspace, Friendster, or Classmates? They may be around still, but they are nothing like how they used to be. It was only eight years ago Facebook became the Internet’s largest social network (overtaking Myspace in January 2009).
What social media will look like in another eight years is unknown, but based on history, it isn’t going anywhere soon. Having a social media plan for your business may help your company stay connected to its customers for a long, long, time. Social media may be thought of as free media, but it does take time to do it, and a plan to do it well.