The other day I was travelling down to London with two female friends,  who both run their own businesses, and the topic of social media came up. It was quite an in depth discussion.  One questioning the point of it and the other saying you must be on everything but both agreeing it was so confusing.

Why is social media so confusing

Understanding the basics.

A lot of people feel this way, heck half of my clients do, which is why they outsource it to me. I then had the same discussion with my mum, also a business owner, and the one phrase that kept ringing in my ear after I put the phone down was:

“I don’t really know why I ‘do’ social media for business but I know I need to do it”

In one way, it is great that she does social media but not to understand why she is doing it, well she might as well just give up now! Harsh but fair.

If you don’t understand the basics, the roots, of social media you are never going to achieve the results you want.

“I don’t really know why I ‘do’ social media for business but I know I need to do it”.

It is simple.

But I promise you social media is simple.  It just seems to be shrouded in mystery. I partly think this because it is a fairly new concept, and for most of us, we weren’t taught it in school, so therefore have had to learn on the go.

However, we do understand the concept of advertising, word of mouth, trade shows, exhibitions, events, interviews and networking. 

So if we break that down, social media for business is just a combination of all of the above but played out in the digital world.  Whether that is on our smart phone, tablet, laptop of desktop computer. 

These platforms allow us to advertise our businesses. Share nuggets of information with our communities and friends. Publicise our latest offers. Showcase our new products. Have a voice and network with key players all in one place. 

One thing that makes this new way of marketing standout and the one thing that has helped make it an integrated part of the marketing mix is: 

Real time interaction

Social media has the human touch. Sure there are ways to automate it (that is a whole different blog post) but effective social media isn’t faceless.  It has personality, it engages with its target audience, and causes people to reactive emotively.  It is a two way communication.

To put it simply social media packages all the elements of old school marketing and advertising into one neat digital box. Designed to target, educate and convert prospects into customers.

 social media packages all the elements of old school marketing and advertising into one neat digital box.

I hope this has made it easier to understand and demystified some of the confusion. For more help with some of the top burning social media questions you may have pop over the Clandestine Cake Club and read my latest blog  ‘Social Media Explained’.

 

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Pia Cato

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