The social buzz

Remember when Facebook status updates were written in the third person? Remember when we used Twitter to document our daily activities and used YouTube to share videos of our kids’ first steps with a small group of loved ones?

In recent years, social media has exploded all of the United States and the world. People can, and do, debate whether this has changed our lives for the better or not, but the one thing we all agree on is that social media has emerged and it is changing the way we interact within our personal and professional lives.

Personally, we use social media to share our daily moments… to paint an “online picture” of our lives… to keep in touch with friends and family. However, we also use it to crowd source… to ask questions about brands and products… to vent our frustrations about poor customer service or share the love when something goes exceptionally well.

In a nutshell, social media has exponentially changed the influence of word of mouth marketing. From Netflix series recommendations to cars, from preschools to brands of milk, cell phone service provider to housekeeper, people search for and find recommendations online. Perhaps we’ve also searched opinions before pulling the trigger, but prior to social media the opinions we received were limited to those we called or saw during our day. With social media those opinions are amplified, by a lot.

Businesses must first recognize that this opportunity exists. Then they must find a way to capitalize on the opportunity. While some will argue that the opportunity lives on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels, companies who have solid client and customer relationships, a strong culture, and engaged employees will have a huge advantage.

The takeaway: Ensure your house is in order before you post photos to Facebook.