My Thoughtspot: Why should you engage in Social Media?

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For those of you who have been residing on Planet Jupiter for the last five years you will not have heard about Social Media. For everyone else you are probably a little au fait with what Social Media is.

In all seriousness there are quite a number of people, as well as small and medium sized organizations who have heard of social media but don't quite get it or don't understand the need for joining the conversation.

I have to admit that I am one of those people who have recently jumped the fence and am now actively dipping our corporate toe in the water.

Social Media is a totally different means of engaging in conversations with your existing customers, your prospects, your vendors - anyone who you interact with in your normal course of day to day business.

For a long time I firmly believed that applications like Facebook and Twitter were not suitable for Companies that dealt with other Companies. I totally missed the point that a Company contains people and that the people within the company are having conversations, that in time can lead to opportunities, and referrals and ultimately business to be closed.

There seems to be an etiquette with Social Media, you need to be listening to the conversations, asking and answering the questions. Using Social Media to just post about your amazing product and service will tune out your audience.

Over the next few weeks I am going to write a series of articles on different Social Media platforms that I have experience with and give my personal thoughts on the pros and cons of working with these platforms in a business environment.

There are so many Social Media platforms out on the web to get involved with and there seem to be even more tools to connect all the platforms together to enable you to share and post your blogs, your retweets, your status and anything and everything else that catches your attention from people that you consider thought leaders, and you can schedule all of this sharing.

It can be very confusing to a beginner and off putting if you don't have the technical know how. By turning into the conversations that are already taking place initially to listen and then as you find your voice as a participant you will learn what works for you and what works for your company. I don't think there is a right way or a wrong way so test the water you will soon figure out what works and what doesn't.

My advice for Social Media is you need to be involved. But, you need to decide which platforms you are going to nurture, how you are going to nurture them and then run with your plan. Beware, you can't be too prescriptive and you might want to change focus so stay open minded and keep up with the trends. That doesn't mean you have to join everything new you can watch and follow the conversations from the sidelines and jump on board if that is the right platform for you and your Company. But get involved, you must, or miss the boat, you will; along with all the opportunities that will come with this new tide in marketing.

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