The Big Question: What can Social Media do for Business?

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Now, this post could be called “The Main Event” or something alike. The whole paper is based around what Social Media can do for Businesses. A concept that many businesses feel they need to adapt to. The change and shift in focus through social media channels is inevitable and therefore all options have to be considered when jumping aboard the massive ship that social media is in society today.

In order to experience what Social Media can do for a business however, their are precautionary steps involved when making that final one. Moving on, today’s post will discuss how small businesses and non profit organizations could use social media as a tool, how their use of it would differ to larger companies. Lastly it will look at the difference between the traditional use of Social Media and the contrast of Mobile Social Media along with the massive risks involved.

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It is commonly known that social media in today is something that many cannot live without. The latest FaceBook update, the newest “Tweet” by their favourite celebrity, the trendiest photo on Instagram, it’s a mouthful, handful, earful and it is here to stay. With everyone being so “connected” businesses look to take advantage of these avenues and rightly so. With larger companies established it seems like the best thing to do for smaller businesses to follow suit. However, it seems as though small businesses are slower to the table than it seems. According to Bakeman and Hanson (2012) Small businesses have been less inclined to adopt social media as the cost of maintaining these methods seem to be more expensive. However, they argue that this is the unfortunate situation of inexperience and lack of understanding within the older business owners. Many smaller business believe that by simply setting up a web page or creating a Facebook page that their sales will rise automatically. Unfortunately if it were that simple, everyone using social media would be rich.

The problem businesses face when approaching social media is that they think of it as a simple application that entails little to no effort. This is not the case, the tool can only be used well if it is put into the right hands. The time that is dedicated is an important factor as most small firms are not willing to dedicate staff members to this particular area of marketing their brand. Casserly (2013) from Forbes suggests that to be able to reach the masses and also dedicate time to social media a business should think to use a younger generation such as “your son or daughter” if you are the business owner or employees that are up to date with the latest technology. University students studying in fields such as Marketing, Communications and Information Technology are healthy assets to a small business if they are part time employees. This could be due to the fact that we spend most of the time online and most of the younger generation feel a “need” for connection and attention. According to Manta, their studies show exactly how many businesses use social media along with the importance of networking through these channels.

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Manta’s info graphic explains a range of different aspects of social marketing and networking. The numbers of it all. According to another part of the info graphic, it shows that 90% of businesses use social networks actively while the other 10% have yet to jump on to the idea. Of the 90% however, only 24% dedicate half their network time to online channels. This could lead to the assumption that either these businesses have no idea what to do with social media or that they have limited funds to support their campaigns on these media platforms.

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Another interesting find was that 42% of these small business found that they gained a quarter of their new customers through social channels and that 42% have FaceBook and found it quite a useful tool when finding new customers.

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To finish up, the subject of social media and mobile social media take the spotlight. In what ways do mobile driven social applications differ to conventional methods. Kaplan (2012) argues that going mobile is certainly the right way to go. The title of the article “If You love something, Let it go Mobile” speaks for itself. The article outlines the numerous benefits that come with mobile social marketing. This includes, however is not limited to, personalisation, ease-of-use, costs, speed and variety.

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The personalisation aspect is definitely a major positive for companies looking to advertise particular services or products to certain customers.  Speed and cost go hand-in-hand when looking setting up a business for online marketing. “Deals” and “Promotions” can be personalised on the fly and almost instantaneously for most businesses with a good online marketing campaign. Along with this, customer service teams in larger firms are paid to look at complaints, recommendations and respond ASAP to these. Costs are effectively lower as well, and the accessibility of using the technology is relatively easy to explain and understand.

But what are the risks? How could this not lead to a future of brain-dead people fooled by the media influencing their daily lives. These are the concerns following. Today I will leave a video on social media hopefully enlightening how we feel about the technology….

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