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Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Is Social Media By Janet Callaway

Simply put, social media is a way of people communicating online. Using free tools and platforms, people connect 1-to-1 or 1-to-many. People use social media for both personal and business reasons.

With social media, what used to be word of mouth quite quickly becomes World of Mouth. Studies show that people trust peer recommendations 78% vs. only 14% for advertisements. Let's look at how this works in action with social media.

Pre-social media days, if a person planned a significant purchase, they would ask a few friends for input as well as spend hours on the internet doing searches and then going store-to-store to inspect the merchandise. With social media, they can post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter to ask if anyone has any experience with a certain item and the feedback will be almost instantaneous. Not only that, it will spread from beyond their immediate circle as friends of friends weigh in with their comments.

Think about it, if 15 out of 20 people you “know” say they purchased a particular brand and recommend it, wouldn't you feel “safe” also purchasing it? Of course, you would.

Speaking of brands, many companies are effectively managing their brands online and responding promptly to customer complaints and suggestions. Again, wouldn't you feel better about buying a product from a company that interacts openly with its customers/clients?

Social media is people talking with people or companies to make connections, find answers or to give help.

What do you like best about social media?


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