Why is Social Media important?

When most people think of social media, they conjure up Facebook, Twitter and a 20 something furiously updating and reading their friends status messages. Which reminds me its been 20 minutes since I checked my wall? But seriously, social media is so much bigger than a few giants and holds a lot of value for brands.

One of the constant topics in my digital marketing class at NYU this past fall was that a number of firms wanted a Facebook page, but they didn’t seem to know what. It just seemed that they wanted it and was the right thing to do. So why does every or atleast most firms want to jump or dip their toes in the social media waters?

From my perspective, effective marketing has always relied upon timely communication delivered in a coherent manner that is on brand, target and message, and it is equally important to identify and leverage the appropriate communication channel. So its not just important to say the right thing i.e. creative and idea, but you have to be where you customer/prospect is. Thats where social media comes in.

Social and digital media offers a chance to achieve a variety of objectives – whether its measuring brand reputation, testing message effectiveness, identifying patterns/trends, to managing customer relationships, and communicating with your customer/prospect. I think most companies realize that they need to go where their customers are. But before they do that they need to listen to whats being said and define a strategy.

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