Wikipedia defines Social Media as “media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.” Merriam-Webster’s definition is “forms of electronic communications (as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).
Regardless of how it may be defined, Social Media is a medium that, in my opinion, ought to be embraced and used to its fullest potential from a business perspective.
If you are one of those people who think Social Media is just a fad, with all due respect, you might want to rethink that. Not only is Social Media not going away, it continues to grow and while it grows, so do the number of people who spend time on social media sites, such as: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
Sure, many of these people are engaged for personal reasons; however, there is a large percentage that utilizes these channels for business. Companies that have become active in social media continue to gain momentum, aka Likes, Followers, Connections, etc. (See below for explanations of each directly from the sites themselves).
“Like” is a way to give positive feedback or to connect with things you care about on Facebook. You can like content that your friends post to give them feedback or like a Page that you want to connect with on Facebook. You can also connect to content and Pages through social plugins or advertisements on and off Facebook.
“Follow” Following someone on Twitter means you are subscribing to their Tweets and their updates will appear in your personal timeline on your Twitter homepage. When you follow someone, they will then have permission to send you private tweets, called direct messages, too. Your follower/following statistics are listed on your profile page.
“Connection” Find past and present colleagues and classmates quickly. LinkedIn makes staying in touch simple. Discover inside connections when you’re looking for a job or new business opportunity. Your network is full of industry experts willing to share advice. Have a question? Just ask.
If your corporate website does not have a presence in any social media channels, you are clearly missing the boat. It is not too late to get started and there is no better time than the present. So where do you start? You’ll want to establish a strategy before diving in head first; this is a mission critical step that is often overlooked and shouldn’t be. Who will be posting on your corporate Facebook page? Who will be tweeting? Who will update LinkedIn? These are important to sort out and a solid strategy is necessary in order to have a successful social media presence. Please visit our social media page to learn more. I also encourage you to take a look at your competitor websites. What are they doing from a social perspective? Are they showcasing their channels on their home page? How often are they posting updates on Facebook? How frequently are they tweeting?
Social Media is an excellent resource that can bring much value if done correctly. Make 2011 the year of getting social!