The Rise of Social Media and How It’s Taking over the World Wide Web
The business buzz is centred on Social Media. The networks have been around for years but the past few years have seen the Social Media pot beginning to bubble over. The popularity of sites such as Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook is reflected in membership figures, user rates and the release of blockbuster movie The Social Network. But as the hype continues to increase it isn’t just personal use that is thriving in this media space, businesses worldwide are utilising the opportunity to interact, discover and connect with consumers and service users. We have to ask ourselves if businesses can develop a level of commitment to these sites which will deliver demonstrable ROI or will it be a ‘dad at the disco’ example that brands do not belong in the social realm?
Recent developments in the major Social Media sites are providing companies with a greater range of tools at their disposal to better develop ROI focussed strategies. Facebook this week has launched Facebook Studio where Marketing strategies and developments can be shared with other users and developed, thus helping others to optimise their campaigns and even helping businesses to network within the platform. Twitter has followed this with implementing a link-shortening add-on as well as supporting more visual content in the platform and directly competing with Facebook. Even Google with their +1 service are following suit with allowing businesses to easily track their detractors and implement swift changes to counteract issues. With Social Media sites evolving to allow better analytics for businesses to keep track of their customers, it is clear that their focus will need to evolve too beyond SEO. However, without a clear objective in place, business entering the Social sphere may have trouble turning likes into buys and may even do more harm to their brand than good.
Developing a tangible strategy to ensure that followers are communicated with in a way that is not only on-brand but equally provides the user the information which they seek is challenging. With the Social Media spectrum fundamentally a forum for communications and ideas sharing, many businesses are taking a too aggressive stance and actually driving potential customers away. Ensuring that a business utilises the platforms in the spirit to which they were intended should be rule number one. Beyond that giving follower’s information on key industry developments and related articles will help to establish and brand within those areas and ultimately establish that brand within the minds of the consumers. However, many major companies are wisely shying away from taking the leap into this world, while they observe the mistakes of other brands. With rising levels of monetisation of digital content and integration of purchasing tools into existing platforms it is clear that sCommerce is an ever expanding market which businesses are eager to be part of. However, if profile pages are the new High Street, businesses must make sure they know how to attract passing trade with the right level of enticements and not chase them off down the street.
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