Harnessing Social Media Opportunities

Social media has become the game changer in many aspects of life today.  Businesses and organizations have been reluctantly forced into using this medium.  Others have embraced the benefits offered.

In its simplest form, social media has changed how people connect with friends, family and businesses.  However, it has also changed the world by helping topple governments and shape society in an instant.

It has become the defining technology of our time and presents an opportunity like no other.

Some argue about the degree social media has impacted business.  Still, marketing trends show how consumers are willing to interact with and voice their opinions about brands they are familiar with.

People are accessing social networks on a daily basis, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.  They are also spending a considerable amount of time using these services and have been making their opinions count.

What opportunities exist in social media?

Perhaps one of the most prevalent uses of social media is how it provides a voice to consumers.  People voice their opinions on social networks and can successfully influence a company or a brand.

Marketers are seeing how people who interact with companies and brands on social networks tend to purchase more from those companies or brands they follow on their social networks.  “Liking” a product leads to more purchases from friends as well.

People are also more likely to become involved in some form of social action when they see something posted by a friend.  Comments, “Likes” and shares tend to make their way throughout several social streams.  This can result in an item going viral, presenting an amazing opportunity (and risk) to a company or brand.

One of the more important opportunities presented by social media comes from the ability of companies to reach out, engage and communicate directly with its customers. Engagement builds relationships which develops a trust between consumer and business.

It’s from the relationships developed in this manner that provides opportunities.

Social media also provides consumers a means to compare products, pricing and to interact with real people who have firsthand experience with the brands.  People like to talk about sales they’ve found, features of a product and how beneficial it has been.

It presents an opportunity to offer discounts or practice participatory marketing such as 10% off your next purchase if you follow us on Twitter.

What are some of the opportunities you see from social media?  Do you think this can give a business a competitive advantage?

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About Barry Wheeler

Barry Wheeler is a blogger, novice SEO, geek and passionate Newfoundlander. Operating several successful websites and online communities, Barry has started exploring the social internet and its impact on all facets of society including personal life and business relationships. Find Barry on Twitter @barrywheeler and FaceBook or on his website Barry Wheeler - Blogging for Success.
Filed under: Social Media, Social Networking Tagged with: , , . - permalink.

4 Responses to Harnessing Social Media Opportunities

  1. Ardorm says:

    Barry,

    It is a good article. I see the main advantage of social media in “Likes” and comments. This way friends of people can see them right away and visit the source.

    However, it may be also a problem. If one hundred people want to contact you at the same time, I guess you just can’t decide who you better answer first.
    That’s why, I think that despite of the speed of social marketing, we should still do it the old steady way, where we meet a small amount of people each time and make them our friends for a long period. 🙂

    • Ardorm,

      It is true you can become overwhelmed with the mass of questions. I think what you will see are questions that come up will fall across many similar themes. Or at least that’s what I’ve been noticing. I can then respond with a blog post or use the questions to prompt me to write about a particular topic.

      Barry

  2. Social media and certainly had a big impact on many aspects of life. Here in Newfoundland it has allowed artists and musicians the opportunity to stay at home and still prmote their products to the rest of the country and beyond. Read my latest blog post to see how this is happening!

    http://newfoundlandexplorer.com/2011/10/05/two-new-great-music-videos/

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