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Understanding Social Media for Businesses

Social media needs to be used differently when it's for business

Brief tips for getting started with social marketing. What is it? And does it matter to small and medium-sized businesses? Or is it just another here today, gone tomorrow trend created by marketing consultants? Here are the basics to help you get started.

What is social media marketing?

The term ‘social media marketing’ is a bit of a buzzword, with big business and government clamouring to make the most of a new way of communicating with customers and people.

The truth is, in one form or another, social media marketing is here to stay – although it is a fast-developing area.

Online communication tools – In simple terms, social media marketing is using online communication tools as a channel to communicate your business’s messages. These tools were originally designed to keep friends and family in touch, but they are now also being used by businesses to communicate with peers and customers.

Examples:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Linked In
  • Flickr.

Benefits of social media:

  • closer customer contact – create and maintain a public dialogue with existing customers, new customers, your competitors and suppliers.
  • improves your online reputation – show your business to be progressive, proactive and interested in customers – for a negligible cost.
  • search engine rankings – search engines like Google like the links to your website, you can get more links using social media, helping to improve your ranking.
  • fast – immediacy of email
  • cheap – low cost base.
  • Problems with social media

Handled badly, it can create a PR crisis.