The term ‘social media’ can be broken down as ‘social’, because you are being social, and ‘media’, because it is published on the web. It is simply a platform for a conversation that is online rather than the more conventional ways in which we communicate, and so it gives us access to many people at once; the internet has given it scale. You can look at it in two ways: brand awareness, which can be a personal or a business brand; and networking, or building relationships online. The two do cross over, because as you are networking, your brand is becoming more visible at the same time.
From a branding point of view, social media platforms enable you to engage with your customers in real time and find out what they want, think or feel at any given time, which makes them a great tool for any company to utilise.
Benefits of using social media
There are many benefits to using social media:
- It’s free.
- You have a huge audience.
- It’s another communication tool to be utilised alongside more traditional methods.
- You can engage easily with your customers.
- You will have a visible presence on the web.
- You receive real-time feedback.
Ref: Marketing with Social Media: 10 Easy Steps to Success for Business, Linda Coles (2015)
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