Whether your business is participating in social media or not, there is a very good chance that a significant portion of your customer base is. Additionally, the conversations that are taking place on these networks are playing an increasingly vital role in how these customers perceive businesses, as well as the which ones from which they decide to make purchases. This rapidly changing paradigm is also changing the participation of businesses in these networks from optional to mandatory.
While successful participation in social networks is multi-dimensional in nature, there are three primary aspects:
- Development - The development aspect starts with research into which social networks will yield the most benefits in terms in target market activity. Once the most beneficial networks have been defined, accounts are established to enable engagement with potential and existing customers.
- Management - Social media networks present a dynamic environment that many businesses simply aren't ready for. Once each network has been "lit", communication from a variety of community members can start almost immediately. Each distinct conversation needs to be managed to present the business at its best at all times.
- Optimization - Social media optimization focuses primarily on the development of value added content that can be shared between community members as well as other social networks. This re-distribution of content results in "social signals" that play a significant role in search engine rankings while also broadening your audience.
Social media is the new frontier for businesses and the ways in which they build their brands, communicate with their market, and sell their products. For businesses, participation in these networks shouldn't be a matter of "if" but "when". That being the case, why wait?