How To Use Social Media for Business

Social media was once a nice platform for keeping in touch with friends, family and your interests. Now you need to know how to use social media for business as it has become an important marketing tool for any business that wants to succeed.

It is constantly changing, and if you do not keep on top of it, it’s easy to get left behind. Of course, no one can know what 2013 will bring for social media, or which sites will be influential. But companies that thrive on social media are the ones that are ready and can quickly adapt.

Whatever form it takes it will undoubtedly be a major force in marketing.

Is it really that important?

YES. A recent study by the Princeton Review found that 85% of people expect businesses to be active on social media. Unless your target market falls within the 15% of people who don’t expect businesses to be online – then a social media presence is essential.

The same study found that 79% of companies are already using or are planning on using social media. You may think that setting up a Facebook or Twitter account is enough, but sadly not. Only 12% of those companies really use social media effectively.

Companies are doing it right

Social media gives you AND your company an advantage. It’s a quick, simple and open way for customers to get in touch with you, when a phone call or email may not be possible. It then allows you as a company to respond to them, which benefits you both. Your customer receives a better service, and the company learns ways that it can improve.

Some use social media for business already and devote a lot of resources to social media customer service.

And some are doing it wrong

In the same way that social media can help and promote your brand, it can also have adverse effects if used inappropriately. Bad social media techniques can negatively affect your company.

Take worldwide food retailer McDonalds for example. Last January they started a Twitter campaign encouraging users to share their McDonalds stories with the hashtag #McDStories. This backfired. Negative tweets about them began to flood in, including one from @SkipSullivan: ‘One time I walked into McDonalds and I could smell Type 2 diabetes floating in the air and I threw up.’ Oh dear.

If you do not have a social media expert tracking and putting out fires, bad publicity can spread out of your control.


Is your company harnessing the potential of social media? Tell us below. 


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