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Why you need to get social

Rodney Byfield | Oct. 4, 2013
Your business can no longer afford to ignore social media.

social media

I went fishing with my son a few weeks ago after we got a hot tip from a mate about a great little spot. We caught loads of fish. I reeled in 11 salmon in under one hour and my son filled his bucket.

We were over the moon as we walked back to our Jeep and I said to my son that I didn't think I had ever caught so many fish in such a short time. "It's a lot of fun when there are fish in the water," he replied.

It was a simple comment but so profound; you need to fish where the fish are. And for Australian businesses, the fish — which in this case are your customers — are swimming in the social media waters.

As a society, the time we spend on social media sites has grown phenomenally and continues to increase. It is no longer a niche product. It's now a media forum comparable to television, press and radio. And businesses can no longer afford to ignore it.

People join groups, communities or simple conversations that are organised around attributes such as products, institutions, lifestyle choices, locations and even politics. They are interacting with one another quickly and effectively and sharing their opinions.

Consequently, social media should matter to your business. It should be your primary vehicle to communicate with customers and employees for the foreseeable future.

Start the conversation
If you don't have a social media plan, you really need to start putting something together or at least start the conversation. How many of your employees already use social media? At a guess, I would say almost all of them. Now ask the same question of your customers.

Engagement is the key. Building your social space is similar to building your business space — it requires effort and planning. What you need to realise is that information — positive and negative — can spread uncontrollably, geometrically and seemingly without cost through a so called "friend of a friend" network — something akin to 'word of mouth on steroids.'

For companies to preserve and build on customer and employee trust in this forum, the company needs to be a part of the social media sphere.

Smart phones and mobile devices are also completely and unashamedly geared towards social media platforms.

Apple favours Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, Google has its own smart phone and platform but supports all, while Samsung seems to dabble between all forms of social interaction.

The fact is that people are more readily buying smart devices to get information and have a mobile social experience as opposed to buying PCs. If your business wants to communicate with these people, if your website is geared towards PC and not mobile, it is already redundant based on these facts.


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