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Social media - let’s engage online

The world of social media has taken off dramatically and is having a huge impact on organisations large and small, with the likes of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, My Space and LinkedIn amongst many leading the way.

Because of the power of ‘word of mouth’ social media is an ideal platform for brands to engage with their audience and communicate through blogs, commenting, reviewing and generally entering into conversation.

It can be used to achieve many goals, examples being to help build links and generate website traffic, to get an insight into what people think, to find out who’s interested in your brand and to promote products and services.

There are, however, issues that need to be considered when entering into the world of social media as a method of brand communication. The majority of social media sites are consumer focused and are used by people in the way the name suggest – as a social media.

Social media is about contributing to conversations and engaging with people online. It’s not about selling as very few people want to be sold to. It is, however, acceptable to share information that you feel will be of value.

It’s important to utilise appropriate social media, especially in the world of business to business. Sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, as well as developing content for blogs, are generally seen as more appropriate for businesses.

The scale of social media is vast and so a planned approach is key as is the identification of the most appropriate social media platforms. Then building a solid group of followers is vital and this can be achieved by promoting the appropriate links to your social media pages on the existing website and email signatures. The real beauty of building a group of followers is that they have actively expressed an interest in your brand so communications with them should be more effective.

There is often no cost in setting up social media accounts although it’s vital that you consider carefully how your brand is visually represented.

Things to consider

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