Yesterday, I was watching a report about the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. I was surprised to learn that the spill was larger than the Exxon Valdez disaster. I was even more surprised to see how many reporters and analysts were ready to offer opinions on how to clean up the spill, how the U.S. government should be involved and the restitution BP should pay to the American people. There was instant reaction by bloggers, Twitter and through other types of social media.
I was struck by how social media journalism has become mainstream. I wasn’t watching objective journalism reporting the events of the day; I was on a roller-coaster of emotion.
The media industry used to be shaped by journalists. Today, enthusiasts, analysts and zealots masquerading as experts join them. Social discussion, opinion and advocacy journalists are filtering the news I see today. This is a transformative time as we are able to participate in the news and information being disseminated. We are no longer only consumers of information.
Social media has evolved to influence the information we obtain. It is increasingly becoming the preferred method for the acquisition and spread of knowledge among common people. Is social media our generations’ version of the Industrial Revolution?
In business terms, it is redefining how marketers respond to the marketplace. It is increasingly important for businesses to have a social media strategy. Without it, companies are missing important customers, stakeholders and influential opinion makers. There are conversations taking place about your industry, your company and your market. You need to participate in those conversations to ensure the most accurate information is being disseminated. You need to listen to those conversations to understand consumer perception.
Most importantly, if you are active in social media, your influence in those conversations increases. This has additional business value:
- Improved search engine rankings (SEO)
- More traffic to your company website
- Ability to quickly respond to crisis situations
Participate in the conversation, by posting a reply to this blog. If you need to improve your social media prominence, contact us at Weise Communications. Check out Weise Communications on Facebook and “Like” it for future updates.