Social media is defined as web-based technologies that enable interactive dialogue between communities and individuals.
We have seen a huge growth in its proliferation over the last few years. Businesses have had to take notice of social media because of its ability to command both huge audiences and extremely targeted audiences.
More and more people are spending time online Tweeting, ‘Like-ing’ things on Facebook or sharing links, images and data on a host of social sites. Social networking now accounts for 22% of all time spent online in the US. In fact there are more people on Facebook now than there were on the planet 200 years ago.
There is no doubting that it is an incredibly useful tool for businesses of all sizes. But when a something goes viral organisations have their fingers crossed that it is something that will affect them positively, and not negatively!
However, what happens if it all goes wrong?
Dominos fell foul of viral controversy recently when several members of staff videoed themselves behaving in a less than savoury manner at work and posting it on YouTube for the entire world to see.
Dominos initially suffered massive losses, but managed to turn things around using the positive powers of social media. They tweeted their way back into peoples favour with their ‘Tweet for Treat’ campaign. The concept is simple – the more you Tweet the cheaper the pizza. Not surprisingly, Dominos is now pulling themselves back up after falling from grace slightly in the eyes of the Dominos-munching public and with this new campaign they get free advertising and give people an incentive to ‘like’ or ‘re-tweet’ them. Genius!
Social media is an immense tool, but comes with serious repercussions if used incorrectly or without serious thought. There are many widely publicised instances of social media being used incorrectly with companies and individuals suffering immensely from the accompanying media fallout.
The main thing to bear in mind when using social media tools for the good of your company – learn how it works before starting and never take it lightly. Listen to what people are saying about you/your brand and respond constructively and with a lot of forethought. If you take all of this on-board you will be able to build your digital personality as well as your brand and have huge success. Nurture your social media status and protect it so you don’t end up in one of the many Top Ten Social Media Mistakes lists. Always try to be precise in your web marketing instead of taking the “splatter gun” effect.