Share on LinkedIn0Share on Facebook0Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter

Giving businesses an edge with Social Media

by

Written by Cassandra Mascarenhas Source : Daily Financial Times The phenomenon of Social Media has proved to be invaluable to businesses worldwide with its ability to allow direct contact with consumers and its wide outreach to a target market as a whole. Understanding the vital role that Social Media plays in the world today, Sri Lankan entrepreneur based in Australia Logan Nathan on a visit to Sri Lanka conducted an executive briefing aimed at senior management teams titled ‘Social Media for Businesses’ earlier this week. Well attended by an eclectic group of entrepreneurs, businessmen, travel agents, web developers and other interested parties, the workshop tackled the bl

Written by Cassandra Mascarenhas

Source : Daily Financial Times

The phenomenon of Social Media has proved to be invaluable to businesses worldwide with its ability to allow direct contact with consumers and its wide outreach to a target market as a whole. Understanding the vital role that Social Media plays in the world today, Sri Lankan entrepreneur based in Australia Logan Nathan on a visit to Sri Lanka conducted an executive briefing aimed at senior management teams titled ‘Social Media for Businesses’ earlier this week.

Well attended by an eclectic group of entrepreneurs, businessmen, travel agents, web developers and other interested parties, the workshop tackled the blockades people here face when dealing with Social Media which mostly stems from a lack of understanding of how to use Social Media to their benefit.

A novice to the Social Media Revolution over two years ago, Nathan made it his mission to understand it completely and today, as an online marketing specialist who owns and controls ICTIP, an IT solutions company, now dominates the web via numerous social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many others.

He began the workshop by explaining how one could give their business an edge with Social Media and why Social Media must be adopted by Sri Lanka businesses. Besides giving the businesses greater visibility on the internet, it also provides businesses a way of improving the image and perception of the country as whole. It also strengthens a business’s branding and awareness and allows them to experiment with innovative activities which in turn multiply earnings.

Nathan then outlined how Social Media could be used to benefit a business. It first allows a business to connect with the marketplace, which would let them learn through others and in turn share their expert knowledge in the particular field. This in turn builds up trust between various parties which can then be used to generate leads, conversations and boost business.

“Everything that needs to be learnt about Social Media and how it can be tackled effectively can be done online. It will take around six months to a year to generate results,” assured Nathan.

The online marketing specialist also highlighted the importance of keywords on the internet as it is this that leads consumers to the product and prompts the most effective communication with customers. Fastest growing market marketplaces at the moment include Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn and Foursquare and an active presence on these social networking sites will guarantee the steady flow of traffic and maximum visibility.

Another topic discussed were some of the trends that are likely to rise this year which if considered and engineered effectively, will permit businesses to make the most of their Social Media Strategy. Such trends include a shift in retailers’ reliance from static websites to social platforms with platforms such as facebook attracting huge audiences. Savvy retailers will take advantage of the potential to expand their sales channels from traditional websites to social channels. Marketers will integrate their websites with social platforms and also encourage fans to buy products through the Facebook page.

Another such trend is the rise in popularity of location based promotional offers which with the rise in popularity of applications like Facebook Places,  Foursquare and Gowalla, will allow marketers to generate interest among customers based in the local area by tailoring promotions.  They will reward customers for checking into the business by offering discounts or giveaways.

Information sharing through Social Media is also set to expand exponentially as businesses have a wealth of knowledge and sharing the knowledge with others establishes the credibility of the business and positions it as the leader in its field. Businesses will be given an excellent opportunity to disseminate their information to a much larger audience than what would otherwise have been possible.

Drawing on several attendees at the event, Nathan judged how internet-savvy the audience really was and shared some excellent tips on how the web and search engines can be manoeuvred far more easily. He then displayed the power of social networking by posting a photo of the event on his twitter account which in under three minutes, received 17 hits thus proving his point.

Social Media has proved itself to be the marketing tool for the new economy and is heavily discussed in business circles nowadays; being a part of the revolution will allow businesses to indeed get an edge over competition and market themselves in innovative ways not deemed possible in the past.
A final workshop which is aimed at anyone who wants to get an in-depth training and develop a Social Media Strategy for their organisation will be held on 22 January, 2011 at the Galle Face Hotel.