Why use Social Media?

In recent years, on-line social media has become a popular medium for communication and has made an undeniable impact on modern life and society. From the political spectrum to its business and marketing implications, tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have played major roles, from leading corporate and personal brand identity campaigns to inciting revolutions.

Although new technology is sweeping the world, the concept of social media is not new. Like most things, it is a tool whose use has evolved according to our environment and to our needs. Today’s social media revolution is simply following along the continuum that began with humankind’s first stone tablets. The only real change is that today’s medium enables us to communicate across large distances. Instead of writing letters, we send email; instead of using the phone book, we use Google; instead of using a telegraph, we text or tweet and instead of sending out brochures and flyers, we create dynamic websites, and fan-base and event pages on various social media platforms.

The changing business landscape and the revolutionary use of today’s communication media are largely the result of how the Internet has evolved over the past 10 years. In order to accommodate the increase in the number of Internet users, the next logical step has been finding methods to connect them across different networks by introducing an unparalleled number of technologies and social media platforms. The reality of businesses today is “get connected or get left behind”.

While the new generation is making a foothold on the social medial landscape, many business owners are finding it a challenge to keep up with the rapid changes in communication and on-line business networking. However, mailing printed brochures and marketing materials is old school. On-line social media offers a far vaster reach to multiple networks in a shorter period of time and at a significantly lower cost. That’s why today’s companies should be investing their advertising budgets in social media and making every effort to take their business to the next level by securing a strong social media presence.

Leveraging social media will allow your business to: 
  • - Stay ahead of your competition
  • - Maintain an up-to-date image
  • - Provide regular company updates
  • - Engage customers in interactive discussions
  • - Obtain customer feedback.
  • - Drive traffic to your website
  • - Create links and topics on search engines
Getting started

How should your business get started to implement an effective social media presence? Begin by establishing goals and strategies for your on-line presence by establishing your company’s objectives, studying your current target market and its on-line behaviour, choosing the appropriate social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.) for the initial engagement, and finally, driving traffic to your company website.

But don’t stop there.

As important as it is to establish a social media presence for your company, it is equally important to properly use and maintain that presence. You must continuously engage your audience in order to keep them coming back for more. Choosing the right social media team members, asking relevant questions in a timely manner, and posting appropriate content are the keys to establishing a strong and stable social media presence on the Internet.

Finally, it is important to actively measure the traffic, level of engagement and reach of your social media presence in order to fully evaluate its effects and benefits.

Building a social media presence may appear to be a daunting task at the outset, but it is quite simple to maintain once you get started.  Not only are the potential benefits for your business well worth the effort, but the reality is that if you don’t get onto the social media bandwagon soon, your customers will quickly find other suppliers who make the effort to be seen and heard on-line.

Ali Mohammadi is the founder of Global Access Group, a web design company; Global Access Hosting, a web presence provider company; Montreal Networking Group, a Montreal-based business networking group; and Fantasia Events and Entertainment, a Montreal-based special events management and coordination company.