As a result, businesses are now jumping on the social media bandwagon at a rapid pace, embracing blogs, social networks, wikis, and other vehicles to achieve their marketing and public relations goals.
What types of benefits can corporations achieve with an effective social media strategy?
Get the Message Out Faster – and to More People
Social media enables more rapid sharing of information. It may take hours, or even days, for a new announcement to reach the end consumer through traditional channels. Why?
Because when a press release is issued, a journalist or writer must first wade through all the sales and marketing lingo to find the key points. Then, the content must be re-purposed in article format, and sent to an editor or proofreader before it is published.
Social media vehicles, on the other hand, allow for instantaneous dissemination of not just news, but images, audio, video, and other multimedia content as well. And because releases geared toward social media outlets contain only key highlights, pertinent facts, and hyperlinks to related statistics and quotes, the information they contain can be immediately picked up and posted by bloggers and other online journalists.
Social media also provides more widespread coverage, enabling breaking news to reach a much larger and broader reader base than standard media outlets alone.
While magazine readership and the number of available print publications continue to decline, the number of consumers using the Internet to access and share information continues to rise sharply. For example, one recent study showed that almost one out of every four Internet users – over 41 million people total in 2006 – visits MySpace on a regular basis.