is social media really relevant?

socialmediawordle.jpg

Today we live in a digitally connected world. No one can deny that fact.

Whether you are a full-fledged addict, or a skeptic on the influence of social media, there is no doubt that social media has taken over the communication world and will continue to do so.

I am currently in a Public Relations class where my instructor, who is several years older than the students he is teaching, consistently claims that social media is not useful. Today he announced to us that social media goes everywhere and nowhere. Hmmm, Mr. PR Instructor, I beg to differ.

Social media brings many things to the table that are beneficial for both individuals and organizations. It provides a channel for learning, sharing, interacting, and building connections. If your business does not use social media, you are missing out on a HUGE potential market. The key to being successful is to be where your customers are.

According to a recent article from Huffington Post (http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/infographic-social-media-statistics-for-2013/), 80% of users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook and 23% of users check their Facebook five or more times a day. Another interesting statistic is 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter. A disturbing stat is 56% of tweets to companies are being ignored. Once again, why aren’t more brands placing themselves where their customers are?

As a PR professional, your goal is to get your message out there, right? So why wouldn’t you want to send your message to where your customers are?

I don’t have the guts to argue with my instructor because I’d really like to receive an A in his course, but the facts and statistics speak for themselves. Hopefully he will realize this one day soon in order to not mislead more of his students. It’s a sad and dead-end road for people and places who don’t believe in the value of social media.

Our world is changing. We need to change with it in order to be successful.

About these ads

3 thoughts on “is social media really relevant?

  1. I see your points. In my experience with a lot of my clients, it takes a lot of time and energy to monitor, maintain, and use social media effectively on behalf of a brand. If you have limited staff or a product that doesn’t lend itself to social media too well, the actual monetary return for time spent in this area just doesn’t pay. It doesn’t translate into dollars.

    It’s especially hard to win a client over to social media if the person/company who is thinking about using social media isn’t an avid and dynamic user themselves. It’s kind of sad. Yes, you want to be where your clients are, but the mass public that is on social media is bombarded with the sheer volume of other tweets, notifications alerts, beeps, boops and other facebook shmoo that they’ve got going on. Are the ads really getting through? Are the tweets, the branded status updates, etc. working? There is so much noise out there. It is a complicated answer. It depends on the product. It depends on the person/company putting the time into using social media to promote their product.

    Clients who sell cute and environmentally friendly baby items and have their cute/conversational/memorable/and brand-pertinent pop ups in my feed, yup, that’s effective for me and I think it’s effectively selling the product. But for some (again depending on the product and their target audience), cutting through the sheer noise of all that’s out there, taking into account the time/energy spent to do it – the ROI just won’t pay out. There may be other marketing angles that are more worthwhile. And no matter how much being seen on social media may seem like it’s the way of the future, if it doesn’t make money for your client, your client won’t buy in.

    Good points for discussion though, eh? :) Fun fun!

  2. Yay for a real comment! Haha.

    You make some great points that I totally agree with! My main point was that people who deny the fact that social media is influential are missing out on some major opportunities. If money is available, and your target market is using social media, then it’s extremely beneficial. I know what you mean though…there is A LOT of noise out there. But if companies are strategic with how they’re handling their social media then again, it will benefit them. You made a point that I should have touched on and that’s the fact that it depends on the product and client. I completely agree! Just sitting in this class and listening to my instructor talk about how things like brochures and mail surveys are the best way to reach people made me want to talk about the importance of social media and where the world is going :)

    • hee hee, was gonna add that you should give your prof some more respect for his experience and you never know how much your profs know until you’re out on the job and it suddenly hits you that they did know what they were talking about. … But mail surveys? Maybe I’m giving your prof too much credit. Ugh.

      I’m learning that an outstanding and conversation-worthy customer service experience is probably the best marketing tool out there right now. If your CUSTOMERS are on THEIR social media talking positively about YOU, that’s king.

      Blog on, cousin!! You’re awesome!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s