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What do you think social media is?

I was bemused when I saw a few individuals in the last week (use social media platforms) to complain about the waste of space that social networks are.  Apparently it’s where you go to follow either a) nobodies or b) celebs both of which apparently are defacating.

It annoyed me for 2 reasons, firstly if you’re going to attempt an argument against something at least have the decency for it to be a plausible one and secondly, well see ‘firstly’.  The reason I’m giving it any attention here at all is that it seems to me that people have widely varying ideas of what social media actually IS.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS MORE THAN A HANDFUL OF SOCIAL NETWORKS. IT’S MORE THAN LINKEDIN, OR FACEBOOK, OR TWITTER . You’d be right to ask if social media is more than these networks, why is there so much talk around these social networks?  Quite simply it’s because it’s how we spend most of our time online,  20% of our time online on the desktop is spent on social networks, and it goes up to 30% if on your mobile.

Social media is anywhere on the web where people and businesses can easily communicate in an interactive manner.  Where people can comment, like, share, express their opinions and thoughts, give feed back, write reviews, make recommendations, learn, get to know more about a person or business, topic or hobby and most importantly CONNECT.

Social media has allowed consumers to move into a relationship business, buying from companies they feel a connection with.  They’re no longer interested in a transactional business.

The question to ask is not how your business can DO social, but rather:

How can your business BE social?

If you’re going to embrace the philosophy of being social and to serve your community, the first question to ask yourself is:

Who is my community?

The next questions, once you’ve established who your community(s) is, will be:

Where are they?

How do they like or want to interact with us?

You’ll find the answer is usually across multiple channels, eg your website, on social platforms, in forums, from their desktops, on the go on their phone, via their tablet, through email, telephone and in person.

So it’s important that your social media strategy is linked and incorporated across all other marketing and communication channels.

If you think in terms of your audience, your community needs first and your business needs second, you’ll already be leaps ahead of the competition.

So you see you ‘numpties’ who described these networks as a place for turds, it’s not that at all.

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