Up Periscope

Do you get your news from social media?

Social Sonar - Saturday, October 01, 2011
I was recently reading a Forbes article about how social media was no longer optional for businesses. It mentioned that more and more Americans now get their news directly from the Internet.

I started thinking about 9/11 -- ten years ago.  I was asleep in my bed (in California) when the first plane hit the towers.  I believe I got a phone call.  I can't even remember who called.  My cousin?  My boss?  I just remember them telling me to turn the television on.  I remember panicking because my dad and cousin were traveling and I wasn't sure where they were (and we didn't know what was going on with the planes anyway).  I turned on the television and watched in horror as the second plane hit the towers -- complete mayhem playing out on television right before my eyes. 

Skip forward to Japan's 2011 earthquakes, tsunami and failure of it's nuclear power plant.  I heard about that first earthquake when I saw "God bless Japan" tweets on Twitter.  I quickly moved to Facebook and found stories being posted about the disaster.  I was horrified at what I was reading.  Granted, I am a world away from Japan, but my heart went out to everyone trying to survive such a disaster and without Facebook or Twitter, I most likely would not have heard anything about it until I watched the news the next morning. 

I don't bring up such disasters to bring you down.  I bring them up to prove a point -- and back up that the study cited above is true in my own life as well:  Print and television media/ads may be on their way out.  Internet and social media are definitely rising in popularity. 

What does that mean for your business? 

It's not that you should completely scrap print, television or radio ads, if that is what works for you.  However, with the invention of TiVo and DVRs, television commercials cannot possibly bring the same payoff that they used to.  Certainly with so many Internet news sites, and with print newspapers' subscription numbers dwindling, newspaper advertisements must be following the same trend as television.  This means that you should at least be considering what the Internet and social media can do for you.

At a minimum, besides a company website, you should take advantage of the free Facebook fan page and Twitter account.  Although it will take some time on your part (or your employee's part) to monitor these pages, keeping fresh content on your page is a somewhat inexpensive way to promote your company and build your brand. 

Do you use social media business already?  Please leave a comment, letting us know which sites are most important for your business.  As always, Social Sonar is here to help you understand how social media can work for you!
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