Magazine article New Zealand Management

TEN TOP TIPS : How Businesses Can Use Social Media

Magazine article New Zealand Management

TEN TOP TIPS : How Businesses Can Use Social Media

Article excerpt

Byline: Manas Kumar

Social media are no longer reserved for teenagers discussing the latest fads a[euro]" they have become a phenomenon that will either help or harm your business, depending on how you use them.

With the advent of what has been labelled a[euro]Web 2.0a[euro] (or interactive web use), you no longer just type a question into a search engine and find the answer, you find an answer, share it with your friends and ask for their input. This has also opened the way to go one level further.

Web 3.0 is all about semantics a[euro]" rather than just responding to queries, a search engine will try to understand your nature, your social footprint, your sentiments, before it spits out a response. While scouring the net for people, places, and things and determining the relationships between them, new search engine technology can understand the feelings associated with them, positive or negative.

So you can see how critical social media are going to be for businesses that want to remain competitive. If you follow these 10 tips, your business will make the most of this new environment.

1. Define your reason to be on social networks Social media marketing is not suitable for every business. The fact that your neighbour has a Facebook page does not mean you should create one. If your target market uses social media avidly then yes, you should too. But if it doesna[euro]t, find other marketing avenues.

2. Select which platform to use There are more than 100 social media platforms, each with its own flavour a[euro]" some users like Facebook, others like Bebo, while another group is more into MySpace. Once you know that your target market is using social media, the next step is to find out which platform is most popular.

3. Develop a strategy Many businesses use social media with no strategy at all a[euro]" they read somewhere that social media are the next big thing and they jump on the band wagon. You will get the most out of social media if you ask yourself the following questions:

a[euro]cents What do I want to achieve?

a[euro]cents Will I focus on building brand awareness or do I want to generate directA sales?

a[euro]cents Who in my team will manage this channel?

a[euro]cents How much budget will I allocate?

4. Pull together the resources needed Social media networking, just like real world networking requires work and a long-term strategy. You need a team of people who will manage the process, because ita[euro]s very easy to get sucked into the social media black hole. …

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