Why should you engage with social media?

Social Media has been the darling of the digirati, online early adopters and web2.0 advocates for a while now, but 2009 was the year when explosive growth took social media into the mainstream.

Research by Nielson group for the year to May 2009 revealed the following statistics:

  • An 82% increase in the total time spent on social networks and blogs in the year to May 2009.
  • A 62% increase in the average time per web user spent on social networks and blogs in the year to May 2009
  • Traffic on Twitter, the “poster-boy” of Social Media in 2009, grew by a staggering 1,448%

What does the rise of social media mean for you, your brand and your website?

If your peers, your customers and your prospects aren’t already using social media, chances are good that they soon will be. Getting involved in the same online social circles offers you the opportunity to engage in a meaningful dialogue with them.

There’s a global conversation going on, through blogs, social networks, forums, “micro-blogging” platforms and other social media platforms. Here are just a few ways you can harness the power of social media to benefit the online presence of your brand:

  • Get and give help and advice: learn what peers and thought leaders in your industry are talking about, and gain insight that can help you in your business, and help others in return.
  • Build a community around your brand: people like to feel a connection with the products and services they use, and to interact with the human beings behind the logo.
  • Monitor, respond and influence: there’s a conversation going on out there, with or without you. Far better to engage and foster a positive perception of your brand from the outset than to sit on the sidelines.
  • Foster ongoing, mutually beneficial relationships: it’s far easier and more profitable to retain existing customers than it is to chase new ones… social media tools can help you to build stronger relationships with a much wider network of people.
  • Word of mouth: good news travels fast online… social media offers a wonderful opportunity for people to spread the love about your brand.

Exactly what opportunities social media can offer you depends very much on your business, where your customers congregate online and what you want to get out of it. The best way to find out is to dive in and start exploring… to get started why not try following @LetsHost on Twitter, or post a comment on this blog post?

We’re looking forward to hearing more from you and your business online!

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