Social media savvy

By Wright Communications

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus - are these just trendy buzzwords, or do they hold real potential for businesses?

According to the findings of 2011 Grant Thornton's International Business Report (IBR) : "Businesses in New Zealand are lagging behind the uptake of social media. Only 38 per cent of New Zealand businesses surveyed use social media in any capacity, compared to the global average of 43 per cent."

The report found that we trail behind Australia and the US, where 44.9 per cent and 46 per cent of businesses respectively use social media. We are well behind countries in Latin America with 52.7 per cent, and BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) with 50 per cent.

The figures indicate the growing significance of social media in business worldwide. The key for New Zealand companies is: how to best use social media to grow their existing business and tap into new business?
As with any type of communication, the first step should be a well-considered strategy covering the organisation's website, and the use of a variety of social media tools.

Similar to other business strategies, your social media strategy needs to have a strong focus and purpose, and align with your other communication strategies.

Most companies have a website, though some do this well, and some atrociously. This is where all the traffic from social media platforms should get diverted to, so it is critical to have a professional and effective website which is easy for users to navigate. Having up-to-date date content on the company and its services will maximise the gains from complementary social media activities.

If you are not conversant, or only partially conversant, with social media, get specialist advice from specialist web development companies, and a communications expert who can advise on overall strategy.  A DIY website and social media effort is unlikely to achieve your objectives, and may even harm your organisation.

You need to know what social media tools are best for your unique situation, and how all social media methods fit together.

Becoming part of the social media community is just the beginning of an exciting and progressive policy that can lift your business, while giving you an opportunity to measure your brand perception in the market.

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