Reputation Management

What is Social Media and Why Do You Need It?

Article by Taylor Jordan

To social or not to social? That is the question many people are asking themselves. Are all those Tweets, likes, and posts worth the effort? Quite simply, yes. Whether you want to promote your personal blog or launch a corporate Twitter account, you can successfully engage audiences through social networks. This guide will help you figure out what is social media and why you need it to connect with others.

What is social media?

Social media is where the conversation happens.

From friends to family and colleagues to consumers, one of the ways to use SM is to connect with the people, places, and companies who are communicating online. As a SM user, you’ll be able to engage with like-minded people, whether it’s another cafĂ© owner who shares your insistence on selling the freshest coffee possible or the consumer who cannot get through one more day without the product you’re selling.

SM is how individuals and small companies enhance their revenue.

Now more than ever additional revenue streams are more important for individuals and small companies. One of the ways to use SM is to expand the reach of your message. You’re no longer limited to audiences in the tri-state area. Social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, will help you spread your brand from Buffalo to Brussels. Social media is how big companies stay competitive.

What is social media? Consumers use social networks and sites to read and share product reviews, search for solutions, and connect with companies. Large firms who want to maintain a competitive edge will use SM networks as part of a targeted campaign to engage audiences. For instance, one of the ways to use SM might include a nationwide contest to create the next company commercial or a YouTube video designed to generate viral buzz for your next gotta-have product.

SM is how your advocates get the message out.

Do clients rave about your new muffin flavor? Will customers line up for hours just to get into your club? One of the ways to use SM is to make it easy for your biggest fans to share their love with others in the connected world, whether it’s “liking” your Facebook Page or posting a Yelp review.

SM is the cultural trend.

What is social media? Right now, it is how individuals and companies are choosing to gather and share information. And it’s not just a fad for the young: more than one-quarter of adults over 50 years old use social networking sites, according to a 2010 A.A.R.P. study. So even if you think SM has all the staying power of a silly bands-type bracelet, you still need to have a presence–becauseSM is where your customers are right now.

What are you waiting for?

Now that you can answer the question “What is social media?” it’s time to get onboard. Whether you want to start a blog sharing your experiences as the home-schooling mom of seven or use Twitter to provide insight into your industry, don’t wait any longer.

About the Author

Tools for Social Media is your source for free articles on all things related to social media, the internet and Web 2.0 for the newbie.

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