Experts all over the world can't deny that social media has changed the way board rooms are thinking about business strategies. Gone are the days when advertising was only within the realm of the advertiser. Today, businesses are reaching out to their consumers so that they can become their ambassadors. Even within companies, more and more communication is taking place online and processes are getting automated. Here are some expert opinions from Social Media Today's Featured Contributors on how social media has changed the structures of business:
Ahmed Hashim @ahashim
With social media tools and platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter available to us, we are in an excellent position where global reach becomes simplified and we are given the opportunity to convey our strengths to the relevant people in our industry. Take job seekers for example; they now have the ability to list their profiles, gather recommendations and endorsements, discuss the projects they have worked on in the past and list references which can be verified there and then. A decade ago, such a thing was unheard of. Social media changed the way we search for jobs, and changed it for the better. The same applies to how businesses promote their products and services. A simple web site just doesn't cut it anymore. You need to have an online social campaign attached to your marketing strategy in order to stay relevant in this day and age.
Brett Relander @BrettRelander
For me social media has been the big equalizer. It's created a global "open door policy" where now anyone can reach virtually anyone else, start building a relationship, and potentially help each other grow their businesses, both directly and indirectly, through referrals and introductions. Take this very article for instance; I would probably never met Syed or any of the other Featured Bloggers on SMT without social media. It's truly made connecting with people easy and part of our daily lives. And after all, most of us want to do business with the right people, not just the right brands.
Chris Dessi @cdessi
Social Media changes your business life in every way shape and form. Social media surround our lives. I believe that the astronomical explosion of social media in recent years is a spiritual awakening, not a technological one. I'll give you a minute to let that sink in. Stay with me. Social media has nothing to do with a specific company or technology. Social media will not die if Facebook dissolves tomorrow. Do you remember how popular Friendster and MySpace used to be? There will continue to be social media even if Twitter sends its last Tweet. This is because human beings make social media powerful. Social media is an extension of our collective unconscious. Social media is our digital spirit. Wash it all away, take away the platforms, the dashboards, the branded color schemes, the technology and what do you have? You have humanity. Take away the strategy, the tenants of marketing, the etiquette of social media, the unwritten rules for "engagement", and what do you have? Again, the common denominator is humanity. Social Media changes your business live because it allows us to connect on an human level with more people, in a more expeditious manner than ever before in human history.
Khalid Raza @khalidraza9
Social isn't a tool for me but a way of working now. I use social as a way to harness the mutual knowledge my network has and also do collaborative stuff, like what you are doing now. Social Media has made me ultra productive, extended my reach and has amplified my voice, within and outside firewall. Social media allows me to share my perspective, my knowledge and work with like-minded people from around the world. Social is new Knowledge. If you are not there, you are not anywhere!
Neal Schaffer @NealSchaffer
Social media completely changes my business life as it has become my infrastructure to generate new leads, cultivate present and create new business relationships, share my expertise with the world, and learn a great deal that has helped me improve my own business.
Steve Olenski @steveolenski
Social media changes business life by putting you in direct contact with your customers and prospects. With social media there is a two-way open line of communication. The important thing for businesses to know that this is in fact a two-way communication and they need to engage and converse with their customers and prospects."
Scott D Smith @scottdsmith
For my SEO / PPC businesses it allows me to connect with a lot of people with ease, ranging from clients, potential clients, affiliates and resellers whilst building my brand at the same time, plus the extra SEO benefit from the social proof element is also a great benefit.
Zohare Haider @jjbaybee
I would add to Steve's answer by saying it's presents the evolution of business to consumer/business engagement by opening, creating and channeling multi-way conversations, lead generation, acquisition and ultimately retention (the customer service and experiential element) completing the customer life-cycle in virtual settings.
Multi-way because it's no longer privately between the business and buyer since world that watches and buys-in through the digital word of mouth created as a bi-product of social engagement.
It's an essential tool for any business, especially to remain relevant with the gargantuan volumes of unregulated brand noise around the world.