Friday, February 19, 2010

The Benefits of Social Media

Are we getting the benefits of social media on the African continent? Have businesses understood the benefits of social media? What about individuals are they realizing the benefits of social media? Before we can even delve into the real meat of our subject, I would love to define or describe what Social Media is for my many colleagues who may not have been initiated.  Social media include the use of Internet and web-based technologies to broadcast some information. Some examples of social media include websites like the famous Facebook, twitter, Youtube, DISQUS, etc. For further definitions you can visit the Wikipedia site.  

Social Media benefits could be addressed on two levels: on an individual level and at a business level. At an individual level, benefits may include the following:

Makes finding and connecting to acquaintances easily
On most of the social websites you can easily search for long friends and/or acquaintances and as long as the y have some online presence you can find them. A friend of mine fished me out on Skype and we “Skyped” for hours on end on that day.

Personal development
I have learnt quite a lot from the groups that have joined on these social websites. The very art of blogging that am indulging I picked it up from socialising online. In short one can learn from the interaction found in some of these social websites. People are ready to offload the information once you shout “help!!!!”  Well it’s got to be a constructive group.

In the case of a business benefits may include the following:

Leverage the power of the internet
A business can get information to a large pool of people through a social website because there’s a continuous sharing of information on these social websites. This can help spread word about a company, its products, and its services at a very fast rate.

Improve impact of Marketing
Just like business try to use brochures/magazines to market their products or services they can easily post the information onto a social website and as people chat and share they could also share information about your business, more like word of mouth.

Take note that I have not delved into the technicalities and also the two lists are not exhaustive. What do you think are the benefits of social media other than what I have listed above?  Please comment and give yours!!

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