Social media is the biggest change in business since the Industrial Revolution. Businesses of all sizes have had to adapt more in the last five years than in the previous 100 years combined. Social media has changed the business landscape forever, but for small businesses, it’s the equivalent of taking a bulldozer up a mountain and ripping a path through it. Social networks allow companies of all sizes to compete on a level playing field. The winners will not be the companies that spend the most money on social media or employ the most graduates to tweet or post on their behalf, but rather those that understand each platform and the different requirements involved to succeed on each.
Traditional media include newspapers, billboards, radio, and television. Each one is characterized by being primarily a one-way system: the company sends the message and the customer receives it. This medium has forever changed this way of doing business.
It is now a two-way conversation between the company and the customer. A customer now has a myriad of sources at their fingertips, instant recommendations from friends, family, and trusted websites. A company that simply gets its message across to customers without interacting with them or listening will find things go very wrong in the future.
Social media provides a great opportunity for businesses to connect with customers instantly, and in addition to finding out exactly what they need from a business, they can also find out other valuable customer information such as their preferences, likes, and ideas for improvement. . Responding well to customers at this stage has the added benefit of potentially turning customers into brand ambassadors on your behalf. Customers are more likely to buy from businesses that have recommendations from trusted friends, family, or connections.
Whether your goal is to get the word out about your business, attract more customers or sales, build a strong customer brand, or simply get a Facebook Page because you’ve heard so much about it, social media lets you do all of the above and more. . Different types of customers use different types of social networks and in different ways.
It might help to better understand each network if you think of the Internet as a traditional newspaper for a second. Twitter is headlines and breaking news; Facebook is the longest news sections and columns; LinkedIn is the business section; YouTube is the fun section and Google+ is the personals section.
Social networks are not going away, they are relatively new, but they are integrating into everyday life faster and more solidly than any previous means of communication in history. This type of media for the Millennial Generation is what TV and Radio were for our generation and the next year or two will give companies their last chance to jump on the bandwagon. Unlike previous media, you can’t make up for lost ground on social media by throwing money at it – building a reputation takes time and the time to start is now!
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