It’s hard to believe that social media has only been around for 10 years. What did we get up to before the days of social media? A decade later, it is becoming increasing clear that these platforms have changed how business is done.

Many organisations with a reluctance to be involved in the social media space cite the distraction caused by social networks, cutting productivity in half sometimes; however, the benefit of opening up opportunities that you would not have otherwise been exposed to, is a consideration that requires thought.

The Evolution of the MD

Despite the obvious benefits of MDs interacting on social media, many still are deciding to not become part of the trend. On the flip side, however, their younger counterparts are connecting with prospective clients, and engaging with existing ones, via the various platforms and determining the success of their various campaigns using a variety of online tools they have at their disposal.

A recent survey showed that of the people surveyed, more than 75% of them felt that it was vital for CEOs to have an online presence where they can interact with clients, and other professionals. As a mode of working – online and offline – there are obvious benefits to both, requiring professionals to balance both their online and offline personalities. With the advent of online shopping and searching on the increase, being visible online is becoming increasingly important in determining your success as a business. Traditional businesses have to find a way to marry both their old-school practices and the new generation of online consumers.

The Success of SMMEs

The use of technology has seen small and medium sized businesses able to become successful. Learning – and honing – your skills in technology, and indeed its use, gives your business an edge that it cannot often afford to ignore. Rather than spending vast amounts of cash on sophisticated ad campaigns, small businesses are able to generate a buzz around their product or service by creating relevant content that encourages engagement. The point is to get the public talking about your product or service, once this happens, prospective clients easily gravitate towards your business with an open mind.

Despite the benefits of employing social media marketing tactics, there are also cons that deserve some attention. The results of your social media marketing campaign aren’t always as immediate as you’d like, and the buzz-created is also a tad slow to come up and show relevance. If you are using social media as a marketing tool, you need patience, as you crunch the numbers and study the analytics to determine how well, if at all, your efforts are paying off.

Social Media makes for a customer-centric organisation

As technology evolves and it becomes increasingly clear that businesses need to redefine themselves in relation to this evolvement, customers are crucial, even critical, to those changes. MDs need to realise the value and importance of social media when it comes to decision-making. Using social media, businesses can figure out what is working and what isn’t. How many complaints were received on your various platforms? How many shares and Likes did your post receive? Which post was liked the most? We can start to look at the numbers and use them to drive decisions.

As professionals begin to get to grips with social media, more and more are realising the importance of these numbers – and what they represent – and using these numbers, can go on to gain a competitive edge.

In an organisation, it is very important that everybody understands the importance of social media and that it plays a part of their everyday work activities. Put simply, it’s a case of keep up or fall behind. The importance of traditional advertising and human networking cannot be underestimated, however. Professionals need to be able to strike a balance between the two – social media efforts and face-to-face interactions – to be able to stay in touch with the other customers, or clients who are not on any social networks.