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Social media for business: the next big thing

What's next for social media?

In our last two social media articles, we discussed the Facebook vs. Twitter debate and common social media mistakes. In the final part of our interview with our social media expert, Faith Evans, we ask "what's next?"

It’s baffling to think that a few years ago, the words "Twitter" and "Facebook" were meaningless. The rise of social media has been rapid and shows no signs of letting up. The value of social media for businesses is still hotly debated, but there’s a growing amount of evidence to suggest that it can deliver an ROI. This recent article in The Guardian highlights just a few success stories.

As Twitter and Facebook are now established channels, the next question is “what’s next?” Which new kid on the block is going to cause a storm and knock the two big guns off their perch? We asked our social media expert, Faith Evans.

Google+ - A bet worth placing

“The jury’s still out on Google+. If it did achieve critical mass, it would blow the others away, but the problem is its struggling to get there.

So at this stage it’s still a bit of a bet for businesses. But it’s a bet I think you should place because its circles and hangouts are places you can really target content. That usually means it’ll have a greater impact. And if you already have an established presence if and when it truly takes off, it can only benefit your business.

Google+ is also becoming increasingly important from a search engine ranking perspective. Although Google’s algorithms are complicated and secretive, you can already see brands Google+ profiles integrated into search results and so having a presence will only be seen positively in Google’s eyes”.

Pin your hopes on visual content

Beyond Google+, it’s all about pins and boards. Faith continues, “It’s already a bit old hat but lots of businesses are trying to get to grips with visual content. That’s why Pinterest has exploded on to the scene. It already drives more traffic to more sites than Twitter and that’s just in the space of a year or two. It’s extraordinary. I’m a big fan of it and it’s really popular with the female demographic, but there’s also a value in it for businesses.

Using text to search and being given a link to click on once you’ve used Pinterest seems like an old way of doing things. This really is something that is going to go from strength to strength. So the challenge for businesses is to create relevant visual content. It’s all about infographics, video, photos that capture the eye and are shareable, so creating traffic back to your website.”

Do you agree? Are you using any other social channels which you think will take off this year? Leave us a comment below and let us know.


How to look good on the social dance floor

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Download BT Futurologist Dr. Nicola Millard's whitepaper for guidance on how you can "get on the social dance floor" with your customers, and not be left looking on longingly from the sidelines.


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