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Monday, 28 June 2010

Social Media & Business - The current position

The more I have learned about social media the more I have seen how underutilised it is in all sizes of business.
This can only be because the generations who run business and take decisions are generally too old to have learned the power of Social Media. In fact it is worse than that! There are 3 considerable points of resistance

- I have found tremendous resistance from people to even consider that Social Media and particularly the explosion in Facebook and Twitter is of any relevance whatsoever to them or their businesses.

- Moreover there is also a resistance from those Facebook and Twitter diehards to accept that these platforms should be used for commercial purposes.

- The owners of these networks have been reluctant to permit commercialisation of their platforms and still have unclear rules to discourage use by business.

By and large big business has not cottoned on to the use of Social Media in general. There are some businesses, for example, Dell computers who fully appreciate the power of Twitter and have thrown a considerable staff resource at it. Well, I here you say, "they would because they are in IT and Twitter is sort of IT because it's on the internet".

Well, Social Media is not IT - it is communication in its broadest sense and a large part of business communication is marketing and sales. The beauty of Social Media Marketing is that it can be targeted, is immediate, and best of all, it is free. It has the tremendous advantage over all other types of offline marketing in that You can actually measure its effect and know how many people it has interested or attracted.
If you are in a large business and not using Social Media Marketing techniques, I suggest you start tomorrow by appointing a Social Media expert. Your IT department and marketers cannot do it without training.
Equally you as a business leader or decision influencer must obtain some detailed Social Media education as you will need to champion its introduction into your company, just as you would with any other change program.
All traditional areas of marketing are in steep decline - newspaper advertising, TV advertising, Yellow pages etc.for two reasons, lack of public interest in this media and the growth of personal computers and 3G cell phones. In addition we all have devices such as Tivo or Pvrs designed to free us from TV advertising.