Social media wasn’t supposed to last; MySpace and Friendster said otherwise. Having your own identity in cyberspace was cool. This success created social media competitors and social media niches. As more people made profiles it showed everyone that there’s room for all social media accounts and another outlet to give, receive and share information. This is How social media is changing business.
Advertising: Flashy billboard ads, press releases and well-crafted commercial spots aren’t the only way to reach customers. Social media gave businesses two outlets: the computer and mobile devices. Companies use social media sites as a way to promote their product, service or brand to customers. You’ll get new customers and business partners in return.
Lost and Found: Before social media, customers had a hard time reaching out to companies. It is not enough for them to have a phone number, fax, email and physical address. Social media is forcing companies to be more available. Allow customers to choose the means of communication that’s most comfortable to them.
Humane: Businesses are controlling through the public eye before social media; now they’re more human. Social media is giving companies a voice. Their representatives can answer questions, take photos of the company and employees, talk about their upcoming projects, promote a charity and get their input on ideas. Companies have emotion now, and customers will connect to you because they like talking to someone on their level.
Communication/Feedback: Talking to customers directly is not about what you are saying. It’s about what they say to you too. Listen to what customers are saying about your business, product or service. Listen to both positive and negative feedback and get a consensus. Positive feedback is telling you you’re doing a good job. Negative feedback is saying something is wrong and you need to correct it. Feedback helps your business grow – if you choose to listen and take action.
Reputation: The internet gives companies a chance to create a positive reputation. A positive reputation isn’t about control; it’s about freedom. Be honest with every post to create the atmosphere you wish. Let people respond; if they are wrong, let your own customers defend you. Businesses need to know that not everyone is going to like them; being controlling doesn’t change that.
The way social media affected business is miraculous. Who knew the American people can create such an outlet? The internet was nothing more than a research database. Now it’s a way to make videos, upload photos, record audio/sound, write blogs, create spreadsheets and documents, have a social network profile and transfer old VHS, cassette tapes and CD/DVDs into a media file.