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We've enlisted the lovely Jo Munroe to provide a monthly update on how a business can support there marketing online using such resources as Facebook and Twitter. Jo will be blogging for us in the months ahead so do keep an eye on her recommendations and try putting some into practice too.

Over to Jo.

So what is Social Media & how do I use it?

When I was asked to contribute a monthly post on Social Media I thought ‘this’ll be easy; most people know what social media is so I’ll probably just need to elaborate a bit more and demonstrate how they can use it to generate more interest in their products or services.’

But then it occurred to me that some people might not actually know what it is at all; they may have heard of it but are still a bit vague on the details, and even more unaware that they can use it to benefit their business. They probably think Twitter is just Stephen Fry gabbing on, and strangers sharing what they had for dinner!

So I’m going to try and explain in layman’s terms, the different and most popular forms of Social Media, what they are, how they’re used, how not to use them, and how you can use them to gain interest in your business or to highlight other things you may want to draw attention to, such as fundraising, or promoting an event, hobby or group.

One of the definitions of Social Media is “any form of online publication or presence that allows end users to engage in multi-directional conversations in or around the content on the website”. So I guess, you should think of regular media as something that goes one-way – you engage with it but it doesn’t reciprocate, and Social Media as something that goes both ways and allows you to interact and communicate with it, then you’ve got the idea.

There are many forms of Social Media including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Wikipedia, Blogs, Forums, and Foursquare. But because it’s the more interactive ones that work best for businesses, these are the ones that I’ll focus on in my posts.

Personally I think Social Media is an incredible tool; it can be used to find out what people think of your (and your competitors) product or service, to gather market research, to deliver better customer service, to interact with your existing customers, to promote events and offers, to demonstrate your expertise and show people what you do, and to keep up with industry developments – and it’s all free!

I know this is a very brief overview of what Social Media is, but each month I will go into more detail of each one and how it can be used. Most businesses find that one suits their type of business or needs more than another type, and some find that a combination gets better results. So hopefully you should gain a better idea of what this Social Media lark is all about and how you can benefit from it.

Joanne Munro is a Brighton-based virtual assistant (Freelance PA) who specialises in social media and admin support. You can find her website at www.munro-pa.co.uk, connect with her on Twitter at @munropaservices or read her productivity blog at www.chaoskiller.com

 

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Carry on Printing Waste. :-) Reach the market. Dont Print.

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