We are in a new era of marketing and business development. The social media revolution is here. If you’re not already using social media for your business, then you’ve fallen behind the majority of your rivals. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn are already helping companies increase brand awareness, attract new leads, and engage with customers. Along with that comes a whole new set of issues facing businesses today.

What can Social media do for your business?

The most important thing social media can do for your business is to create interaction between you and your clients. It provides a method of developing deeper relationships with the community you are trying to reach.

From the small firm to the global giant, building a brand has become an essential element of success. Having a consistent presence over multiple networks and types of media is important to your firm’s growth. According to Forbes and many other leading business publications, these are some of the benefits of using social media as part of your marketing strategy:

  • Branding- utilization of social media can help build your brand beyond print.
  • Builds a community- you can get your product, service, and expertise in front of thousands of people for little cost.
  • Provides an opportunity to widen business contacts.
  • Show your knowledge and skills- by providing real content and tools, clients and prospects can see firsthand what you know.
  • Influence – As your following increases, your influence grows.

Some Issues of which to be aware

  • Postings and updates on social media need to be current and consistent.
  • Be aware of privacy issues.
  • You need to develop a social media policy for your company.
    • Define what social networking is particular to your organization, so employees know exactly what is meant by the term.
    • Assign one person to manage the program.
    • Keep passwords protected and changed often.
  • Intellectual property rights may also become an issue. Anything developed by an employee while in the course and scope of his/her job should be the property of the company.
  • Today, “tweets” on Twitter, status postings in Facebook, and discussion forum postings on LinkedIn are all discoverable information to the same extent as emails and text messages.

There is no doubt social media is here to stay and it makes sense to use it in some form. Be thoughtful and develop a policy along with procedures to help grow your business.