blog, digital-marketing, google, marketing, news WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA? 19th April 2017 CHCAdmin Leave a comment Social media is an online stream of content that facilitates the creation and sharing of ideas, whether it be in the form of images, text, videos, gifs, an infographic or anything else available online. Billions of people around the world are searching for interesting and engaging information about the things they love, want or need. Although there are many social media platforms, the ones which harness the largest online communities are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE USING IT? Facebook – 1.79 billion active users Facebook – 3.2 billion likes per day Twitter – 317 million active users Instagram – 500 million active users Instagram – 3.5 billion likes per day Pinterest – 170 million active users Pinterest – 5 million pins per day Google+ – 1.4 billion active users WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? The social streams were all developed for one purpose: to enable users to find like-minded people and share content. For a business, this is a sales dream come true. If you sell a specific product – let’s say iPhone cases – then you will be able to find large communities of people worldwide who are interested in iPhone cases. With over 1.8 billion Facebook users, your product or service could be very niche and yet, you will still be able to find the communities who are interested in what you do. Social media is not about how big it is or about how many people are on it, it is about how specific it can be. The world is a big place, full of people with different interests, needs and desires. Social media allows you access to them. If you build a following of interested users, you can advertise your service or product to them multiple times a day at no cost. This becomes a serious consideration if your following surpasses 10K. Print publications would charge over £800 for advertising space at a similar distribution! And the more targeted you are in building your community, the better the results. If you are successful with your content, then you can build brand advocacy resulting in others sharing and recommending your content to their following. WHAT ARE THE RISKS? Social media is actually a surprisingly safe place. If your community growth and content strategy is tactful then the responses will generally be very positive. We hear of many people worried about getting negative feedback or ‘trolls’ causing problems. The general rule of thumb with ‘trolls’ is to ignore the bad and praise the good. Social streams move very fast. If you make a mistake, your audience will have moved on and forgotten it by the next day – so don’t draw attention to it. If there is a genuine problem, look to resolve it elsewhere (email, direct message, telephone or in person) and then release the successful resolution story in a positive way. The more positivity you put out there, the more you will receive!