Social Media and Why You Need It
Social media is a phrase that has become more and more predominant in many areas of life and business over the last decade. The recent stock market flotation of Facebook – one of the dominant social media portals in the world – has thrust it back into the limelight and provoked debate about the value and utility of social media. But how do you define it and why is it useful for businesses?
Social media is, essentially, online environments which users interact with the express purpose of interacting. Thus, it is not a website which users visit to purchase a product or gather information; it is a website for people to inter-relate based on their shared interest in the content of the web page. For instance, Facebook is a social site because it is primarily used for the interaction of friends rather than users and suppliers.
Such media presents businesses with a useful way of connecting with their audience. It offers a different way to interact with them, predicated on a shared experience that, with a good strategy, will expand your audience under its own steam, by users recommending things to each other.
Recommendation from other users is increasingly becoming a major factor on Internet users’ purchasing decisions. A user is more likely to purchase a product or service that has been recommended by other users they trust. Information about brands on social websites can influence purchasing decisions to a large degree.
Because social media relies on people sharing information, an effective presence will mean your business’s name and information is shared around the web more, through links and likes. The more your name is distributed on different pages, the higher your ranking will be in search engines, meaning more users will find your site at the top of their searches when entering keywords related to the business.