Making social media work for businesses

As many of you know, I mostly write technology articles for newspapers and magazines here in Ireland. I don’t usually post that content up here as it tends to be time-specific and of niche interest. However, this piece might be interesting to people. It appears in this month’s Computerscope magazine, a controlled circulation publication.

The publishers only post selected parts of each edition online, and this month, one of my pieces is up and available. It looks at how social media can work for business users.

While getting involved in social media is extremely cheap, and in many cases free, maintaining and growing an online presence isn’t.

It doesn’t cost anything to create a Twitter or Facebook account, or to set up a WordPress or Blogspot blog, but creating content and keeping your online persona visible takes time and effort. At a time when many companies have had to let staff go, the business case for getting involved in social media needs to stand on its own.

So just what is that business case? Is it about business development, or selling more product through using Twitter? Is it about marketing? Should you have a Facebook page because everyone else has one, and if you choose not to bother, will that damage your brand?  The answer depends on the business you’re in and the kind of relationship you want with your target market.

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