Social Media in the Business Arena
Once upon a time the world was a much bigger place. Ideas like people sending messages through phone lines or enjoying moving pictures were farfetched. Traveling from one side of the country to another by paved roads was unheard of, and the idea of a man traveling in space was the stuff of dime-store novels. The world has come a long way since horse and buggy were the primary means of getting around and men weren’t able to travel far and wide for social affairs or to conduct business. In the past forty years computers which used to be big and bulky have become considerably more compact and can now fit into an individual’s pocket. Only in the last twenty years has social media taken off to make the world a much smaller and more sociable place.
Social Media versus Industrial media
There was a time when businesses had to invest millions of dollars of capital in advertising. They competed with each other to see who could put the word out more effectively and draw in more customers, but advertising through industrial media could only go so far, because once the money ran out so did a businesses ability to reach people. Then businesses started building websites which opened up new doors and avenues, but even websites can only go so far. The introduction of social media revolutionized the world when users discovered that they could use web-based and mobile technologies to engage in interactive dialogue.
- Social media has a broad range, reaching around the globe to engage real people in real time dialogue.
- Whereas industrial media operates by a centralized framework, social media has no such ties and is available with little or no cost to the public, making it ideal for small businesses with little or no capital to invest in big advertising campaigns.
- Social media is user friendly. Individuals once needed specialized skills or knowledge to operate industrial media tools. That isn’t the case with social media. The simplicity of using social media campaigns in the business arena makes it easier to bring attention to growing businesses.
- With industrial media a business had to pay for campaigns but there was a little bit of a waiting time before their advertising could take off. That is not the case with social media which is capable of virtually instantaneous advertising with no waiting periods.
- Another boon to social media in business is its versatility. Once something is out in industrial media it is permanent. It can no longer undergo changes. But with social media one can go in to correct mistakes and tweak information at any time.
The invention of social media has given businesses a variety of new avenues to conduct its affairs.
- Successful business practices include letting consumers know what a business is up to. More and more businesses are discovering the necessity of using blogs to establish their platforms and to keep their consumers informed of what they are doing, making them an invaluable business tool.
- Industrial advertising uses a hands-off approach, whereas social networking sites focus on establishing relationships that can boost a businesses standing by drawing in clientele.
- Microblogging differs from blogging only by the amount of content used. Social networking sites like Twitter enables businesses to focus on pushing one key idea delivered in a few short phrases.
- Social book marking sites allow users to share web resources. That includes business information.
- Some businesses can now use video sharing technologies to upload and share video information about what services they offer.
- Professional Networks such as LinkedIn can link business professionals together in a virtual community, allowing them to share information about business related events.
- Podcasting is the new wave of enabling businesses to make their voices heard. Whereas at one time people could be reached via their radios within a limited range, podcasts allow a much broader reach and can circle the globe.
What are some enlightening statistics about social media?
Last year Facebook had seven hundred and fifty million users and today overshadows Google in traffic. Over two hundred and thirty four million people use mobile devices everyday and social media usage accounts for twenty-two percent of time spent on the Internet. Social media sites like Twitter processes over forty million tweets a day. Social media usage has become the number one activity on the World Wide Web, and a simple Google search can reveal a vast selection of social media sites for business professionals.
If an individual goes online and searches for the words “Business and Social Media” he or she will find a vast trove of information and news articles expounding the value of social media in the business arena.