So what exactly is social media packages?

The term ‘ social media packages ’ can be broken down as ‘social’, because you are being social, and ‘media packages’, because it is publis...

The term ‘social media packages’ can be broken down as ‘social’, because you are being social, and ‘media packages’, because it is published on the web. It is simply a platform for a conversation that is online rather than the more conventional ways in which we communicate, and so it gives us access to many people at once; the internet has given it scale. You can look at it in two ways: brand awareness, which can be a personal or a business brand; and networking, or building relationships online. The two do cross over, because as you are networking, your brand is becoming more visible at the same time.

I separate the two because I think they can be two quite distinct activities, and through this book I will be sharing with you different stories about how people and companies have used social media in both ways to get their desired result.

From a branding point of view, social media platforms enable you to engage with your customers in real time and find out what they want, think or feel at any given time, which makes them a great tool for any company to utilise.

Benefits of using social media packages

There are many benefits to using social media:
  • It’s free.
  • You have a huge audience.
  • It’s another communication tool to be utilised alongside more traditional methods.
  • You can engage easily with your customers.
  • You will have a visible presence on the web.
  • You receive real-time feedback.

 

What choices of social media sites do I have?

The obvious choices of social media sites are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, with others starting to make waves all the time such as Google+. To these we can add online channels such as blogging, webinars, Skype and podcasts.

Long gone are the days of picking up a pen and writing a letter to someone, putting a stamp on the envelope, and walking to the postbox to send it; it just doesn’t really happen anymore. Email is now the normal form of business communication, with the telephone a close second, but as more and more people are in email overload, I can see that changing. You just can’t get through your emails and do your work in the allotted time, and who wants to do it when they should be spending time with their family or asleep? The way we communicate has changed, and will change again in the future.

Using social media sites such as Facebook, you can keep in touch with friends or colleagues by leaving a quick message on their wall rather than sending an email, or by sending a tweet if it is only a short message. To make it easy to connect with others, people now have their social media details, rather than their fax number, on their business cards. Who uses a fax anymore?

 

Social networking sites and their uses:


 So I’m networking at the same time?

Social media is an extra way of talking to your customers and clients in different forums where they are hanging out. It is also a way of networking online, so rather than being tied to an event date and time, networking online is open 24/7: you can do it in your pyjamas in the morning with your cornflakes, or do it in your pyjamas in the evening with a glass of wine, whichever suits your time and business needs. This is particularly helpful if your prospects or clients are in another time zone. It does have a social element to it or else why call it social media, but I prefer to call it networking online, unless of course I am on Facebook for pleasure on my private page, chatting to my close friends and family.

You could also look at the people that are following you or your fans as a tribe, or a focus group on steroids. Once you have a tribe of followers, be it online or not, put them to work. Ask them what they need or desire and see if you can provide it.

 

What if it goes wrong?

As I mentioned earlier, social media essay sites enable you to receive real-time feedback, both positive and negative. Recently the NYPD came under fire when they decided to engage with the local community via Twitter. The NYPD set up and promoted the hashtag #myNYPD; it was meant to encourage people to share great photos they might have of themselves with the police in the community. Instead, some decided to use it to post pictures the police would rather you didn’t see, such as individuals being dragged by their feet as they were removed from protests. As long as you act quickly when things don’t go according to plan, you can minimise any damage.

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