is social media really relevant?

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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.

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