People either love it or hate it, but business don’t have a choice about it. Social media is something that business owners find themselves forced to embrace, whether they like it or not. But individuals remain ambivalent. Some people absolutely love Facebook, while other people find themselves repulsed by the superficiality of social networking. No matter what, if you own or manage a business, it is quickly becoming a major faux pas to be without an online social presence.
Social media has become the next big thing in business. Now that people have finally gotten used to the idea that their business needs to have a web site in order to be successful, they’re finding that a web site is no longer enough. In order to make that web site work for a business, it needs to be connected on a more “social” level. People need to “Like” your business or be a fan of your web site in order to draw customers to your online web presence. Some business owners have a hard time keeping up.
As the Internet has grown, it’s become harder and harder to be seen. Whereas ten years ago, you could build a web site and feel good that you had done what you needed to do to really market your business on the web. Today, building a web site is just the first step. After you get that web site built, you need to market it using strategies like SEO and SEM or your web site might flop. You need to draw people to social media pages like Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn to get “fans” who will follow posts that need to be regularly maintained. Essentially, getting your business online and making a web site popular takes more than just a one-time investment in web development. You’re going to have to spend some money on online marketing and you’re going to have to spend time keeping your social media pages updated.
Some business owners feel like they’re in junior high again, competing to be the most popular using social media and, in a sense, they’re right. Social media is still taking shape and how it can make money for a business remains somewhat obscure. Most business owners view their social media pages as a way to keep people interested in the business. Profits from maintaining the social networking pages come vicariously through efforts at staying on customers’ minds and helping them to remember to use the businesses products and services. The results are indirect and hard to quantify at this time, but still, business owners recognize that there’s a need to do social networking, perhaps because every other business is doing it.
Social media is still in its infancy and new trends are developing all the time to keep it interesting to businesses and to individuals. The popularity of social networking has definitely created an interactive component on the Internet that was lacking when static web sites were the norm a decade ago. But the direction that social networking will actually take remains to be seen and will probably evolve more out of the organic social needs and wants of “followers” more than the vision of business leaders. Being competitive in the marketplace means keeping your eye on these customer trends.
About the Author
This post is by Dave Ritchie, a freelance writer interested in antivirus protection.
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