Saturday, March 7, 2015

Why No Business Should Be MIA On Social Media

Whilst Social Media is being highly adopted by the wider population, senior management are very under-represented, with only 15% of executives active. Executives tend to misunderstand or prefer to ignore it, rather than embrace it in their organisation.

This also means that this space is void of appealing content about organizations that executives could provide to interested parties that are searching for this content.

There are six key myths about social media:
(1) It's just a fad (2.55 Billion are current using social media)
(2) People only use it to post photos of their pets or food 
(3) It's only for young people
(4) It's only for geeks, Tech heads, and IT savvy people
(5) It's only for marketing
(6) There is no gain or R.O.I

All of these myths are incorrect, and this is a reason as to why organizations often fear or are reluctant to engage in it.
The main issue is that, whilst there are so many benefits and advantages, only the small amount of negative experiences are publicised by the media, and so, people tend to get the impression that social media only causes dramas.
One potential barrier is that so many platforms of online community-based media exist today, it can be overwhelming for most users. Therefore, it is best to stick with the main versions: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for business.
An emerging trend today is that people are more willing to trust a complete stranger's review about a product online overall marketing collateral that exists. Social media encourages a "review" platform that organisations must be amongst, and not ignore.
In 2014, the G20 declared that the social media sphere was worth $US 16 Trillion of the world's economy.
The main uses of online, community based media are:
(1) Defensive (just be on there to deal with bad press)
(2) Online Reputation (building brand awareness presence)
(3) Active Use (regular posts, blogging, job adverts, updates)

The most effective use of social peer media is the Active Use.
It is important, today, that all organisations safe guard their territories in this space, which includes all URLs and user names on the main platforms (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) as imposters can claim it and spread incorrect information.
Truths about social peer to peer media:
(1) It's here to stay (it's been around for over ten years and is growing rapidly)
(2) It's about human moments and interaction of any kind, especially business
(3) It's for absolutely everyone
(4) It's about communications and relationships/followers/interested parties
(5) It's absolutely immediate
(6) It can be used effectively and measured

CrowdMed is an example of a platform where medical professionals from around the world submit and combine their expertise to solve even the most difficult medical cases. This kind of 'crowd sourcing' approach is an excellent example of how social media creates a portal of information from the masses, including target audiences.

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) is another new trend now, where large, reputable educational organisations are providing free-of-charge courses, bachelors, masters and certificates in practically everything. They serve as a way an individual can access education and provide everything a full paid course does, however they do not award the official accreditation upon completion. Interestingly enough, some organisations are now accepting MOOCs certificates as official qualifications for entry into jobs.

Open Data is the most intriguing phenomena at the moment. It is the collecting and analysing of online community media data to predict trends and demographics due to its immediacy. Open Data saw that statistics and data organisations were able to accurately predict the spread of the Ebola virus before any medical organisation could, because areas of contraction were posting the events online in real time.

Another medical website of interest is Patients Like Me, where patients share their medical experiences and treatments.
Emerging trends with social media:
(1) It's only going to grow in importance more rapidly
(2) Everyone is mobile now, increasing its appeal
(3) Even older consumers are joining
(4) There are now millions of consumers entering the market that have never seen life without online peer media
(5) Consumer education and opinion has never held more influence than it does now.
Christopher Melotti

Freelance Copywriter at Melotti Media.
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