I wasn’t always interested in the social aspect of the internet. For many years I had the same view as my mates; social networking sites were a waste of time and only good for keeping in touch with friends. My social presence was severely lacking and I didn’t see the benefit of increasing it. How times change.
I joined Twitter, Instagram, foursquare, Google+, LinkedIn, Delicious, Pocket, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr and Tumblr around three months ago. Coincidence? I joined LBi around 3 and half months ago as a social platform and community manager.
It is not only my job but a way of life nowadays. From updating a Facebook status, to keeping my finger on the technological pulse by following the right people on Twitter, to editing and sharing photos on Instagram… Social media has opened a whole new world to me. Anyone can be an author and have their work published, look at this blog post!
The platform foursquare is one of my new favourites. I find myself trying to check in everywhere I go to gain points and produce more check-ins than my colleagues and friends.
However, before I started LBi I would probably have never given a second thought to this platform. Now I can see the benefit of using this platform for brands and potential clients, not to mention how fun and addicting it is! This video from ‘Shelter Scotland’ defines foursquare as a “tool for exploring the world around you” and that’s exactly how to use it. Explore. Check In. Claim specials.
Due to work commitments I have been spending a large amount of time on social media, improving my knowledge and understanding of the benefits both to individuals and brands. Contrary to my previous beliefs, social media is not a time killer – the very opposite in fact.
So how does my personal use of social media relate to the brands I work for?
I never gave it much thought before I started to work in digital, but I guess brands have always had a voice. They need to have a strong one too, and social media is by far the most effective platform for them to use their vocal chords to engage with customers.
Since I started working here, I’ve noted that the brands that choose to take part in social media are creating connections with their audience. By doing so, they generate an element of trust for their customers.
As Mark Zuckerberg once said, “People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.” I think he’s hit the nail on the head with that comment. If a brand can create a trusted connection with a customer then I think it’s safe to say that we can think of this brand as a friend.
I am really enjoying the world of social now. The feeling of knowing that my words can reach thousands and thousands of people is nothing short of exhilarating. Working on behalf of brands gives me a great feeling to know I’ve created something pure, valuable and interesting for their customers.
There are many different ways of using social networking sites and working within an online marketing agency has unearthed my new need for social media. A few years ago I thought of these sites as nothing more than a form of communication between friends. Now I see it as a route to bridging the gap between brands and customers.
I’m not a self-proclaimed social geek yet… but there’s still time.