The power of social media as a business tool is becoming more and more undeniable – Twitter was estimated at the end of 2010 to be on target to reach 200 million users by 2011, and Facebook has 500 million active users. With this kind of reach, it is clear that social media is now a crucial means of exchanging information, and has replaced newspapers, TV and even email as the communication means of choice, and is now becoming a must have marketing tool for businesses too.
The most unique angle of social media is its ability for consumers to speak directly to an organisation – it suggests transparency to customers and when used correctly will help to reinforce a strong image for a brand. I understand, like many others do, that social media is a key way for businesses to listen to what people want and if they are savvy, adapt accordingly. It also allows you to speak directly to your target audience and this means it’s important to get it right with your brands social media representation. Social media isn’t a fad, and it won’t disappear – in a few years it will be so deeply engrained in every aspect of our lives that it will become a second language.
It can also help businesses gain global recognition, and reach customers in more obscure locations. The benefits are countless – the challenge is applying the right technology to make keeping your social media up to date as easily and time effectively as possible. There are a number of new innovations which optimise communication opportunities with minimum input from the organizations themselves. Our own Social Media Manager was developed with this at the forefront of its design – an innovative piece of software which automatically sorts, loads and precisely schedules a bank of tweets and posts to minimise the effort required to keep social media such as Twitter and Facebook up to date. Social Media Manager is an integral part of Feed Manager and is specifically designed to incorporate daily information about our clients’ products, across multiple social media platforms.
Innovations like these are the best way of using social media as a retail business – they are simple to use, and our service simplifies and shortens the business effort required. I believe that it is vital for businesses to assess their social media, and use the available means to make it as effective and successful as possible.