With the ongoing investigation into the ethical use of Facebook users’ data, it has been revealed that Facebook data of up to 87 million people- 37 million more than previously reported- may have been unethically shared with British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, and misused in the 2016 US election and the Brexit referendum.
The findings exposed in this investigation have caused a global panic, with many people now using social media with caution and in some cases, deleting their online presence.
Social media has continued to cause controversy in the news this week, with reports that JD Weatherspoon has made the decision to remove the chain’s 900 locations from social media platforms, as it has become a ‘waste of time’ for the business.
This has raised a key question for businesses about whether social media is actually beneficial to companies, socially and financially. Here at McOnie, however, we like to focus on the positives and it is important to remember that for B2B businesses, trying to target niche audiences, social media has many benefits and can be a useful tool in helping companies prosper and achieve their PR goals.
Social media benefits to business
Over the years, social media has grown to be an instrumental tool for the way civilisation communicates. In 2017, there were 2.46 billion social media users worldwide. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube continues to offer many benefits to business such as connectivity, increasing brand awareness, reaching new audiences and monitoring industry trends.
The ability to quickly and regularly keep in contact with your followers and networks is a core advantage of social media. If you want your business to remain connected to key audiences and keep up to date with the network’s latest discussion, industry forums on Facebook and LinkedIn discussing topical industry matters could help. By engaging in discussions and debates in these forums, you can position yourself and your brand as industry experts and a thought leader, whilst maintaining key relationships that could be useful in building your business.
- Brand Awareness
The internet is an integral tool when searching for companies. A social media account ensures your company is easily accessible enabling customers to learn about a company’s core messages, understand the service provided and key offerings, whilst getting a feel for the standard of customer service and company culture.
- Reaching new audiences
Various social media platforms can be used to represent different aspects of your business and can also be used to reach different audiences. For example, channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook could be used to keep up to date with industry news and for content sharing, positioning your company as knowledgeable experts. Instagram, however, could be used to represent the businesses positive personality through images and videos posted of the team, meetings and events.
- Competitor research
Before social media, it was difficult to keep up to date with industry trends and what competitors might be working on. Now, with various social media platforms, it is much easier to monitor this, following current topics and discussions and being able to identify gaps in the market that your company could take ownership of.
How can we help with your social media?
As the negative side of social media continues to be reported, it is important to remember that it still has many benefits for business. At McOnie, we are experienced in helping businesses understand and maximise their social media accounts and can offer advice, training and clear strategies about which platforms will be most effective for your company. For more information about how we can help your company, please get in touch.