The Impact of Social Media on Businesses

Social Media has changed how businesses interact with customers. Online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, provide a platform for two-way relationships between businesses and customers.

On Tuesday 3rd February 2014, I attended a event about impact of social media. Held and organised by Edge Hill University’s Business School, in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). As a user of social media, I am interested in how it produces positive and negative effects on businesses and individuals, and importantly how it should be used properly to enhance rather than diminish.

The event covered several aspects of social media, from making a Twitter impact in 140 characters using hashtags, to using Facebook to engage with local people through word of mouth. Two important points I learned about was that social media makes or breaks businesses and the importance of getting real-time analytics and reports. Other useful tips included:

1. Getting your points across in as few characters as possible.
2. Tailoring your content towards what your customers want is important.
3. Social media is great for attracting visitors, building relationships and closing leads, but least effective for selling products.
4. Be positive, enthusiastic, passionate and avoid negativity.
5. You cannot control what people say about you.
6. With social media you are talking to a global audience.
7. Engage with customers who use social media to raise an issue with you.
8. The above also applies to individuals too!

I mentioned the last point because, every professional including myself is also a marketeer, even though we may not be consciously aware of it. Each of us have our own values and principles, that forms the genesis of every successful working and business relationship with others.

In conclusion, social media is a powerful tool, which can either enhance and grow businesses or negatively affect reputations and lose customers.


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