Why Do I Need to be on Social Media Sites?
One of the most reliable and efficient ways of maintaining timely mass communication is through social media websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. These sites allow you to reach a large number of people with a single message, and the information you post is available almost immediately. Contrast this with the expense you would encounter developing your (company's) own website, which may be very costly and time-consuming to maintain on your own.
Because social media websites are universally available you can broaden your exposure and availability with one simple post. My personal experiences with social media have led to me being followed and supported by people throughout North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa. It would be very impractical to try to keep all these people informed by other mean. A great benefit of social media is the timely responses you receive from people who follow your postings. It's important to believe in what you do, and it's very uplifting and encouraging to know that people believe in what you do too.
Social media can be used not only to broadcast personal and commerce interests, but to promote cultural or professional events. Some organizations use social media as a means of fundraising, while others raise awareness about issues important to them. On Facebook, you may learn about art fairs, performances, or visits by celebrities and dignitaries -- both local and remote (very helpful for making vacation plans!) LinkedIn is an efficient way to learn of workshops for professional development, opportunities for business growth, and the most recent technological innovations. Many professionals search for consultants and new staff members through this website. Twitter allows instantaneous communication to a large group of people, often from remote devices such as your mobile telephone.
Social media is an excellent means of networking, entailing none of the awkwardness or frustrations that often accompany face-to-face networking. It's much less restrictive -- your business may be located in the Central States, but wouldn't you like to have clients in Europe? Would you like to sell your handiwork to customers all across the United States, or in other parts of the world? Does the possibility of obtaining unusual materials and supplies from other countries attract you? Would you like to consult or be consulted by others in your field, regardless of where they are located? Social media facilitates this.
It doesn't matter what size your business is -- local businesses and individual contractors find social media just as helpful as major corporations do, and often more effective than previously 'traditional' methods.
You control your information, how widely available it is, and even how public or private you are! It is cost-efficient, easy to maintain, and globally viewed. Social media is a trend that has already had a considerable impact on the business, cultural, and technological world.
There is no down-side to social media networking.
Paul TN Chapman, Blog Manager, Reed Social Media Group