As social media reaches maturity, there’s no avoiding what an integral part of modern life it has become. According to a recent Mintel report, 80% of UK Internet users are active on social networking websites. This cements the influence social media has on the contemporary consumer and as they’re on social media – they expect brands to be too. With 87% of customers asking for help prior to purchasing and 88% of those asking for post sales support via social networks, companies can’t afford to not be social.
According to Econsultancy, of the 4.8m small businesses in the UK, 23% earn over £1,000 per annum by connecting with customers on social platforms. This demonstrates the commercial gains that can be achieved – even by small businesses – through utilising social technologies effectively.
So with the importance of social media highlighted, is investment in social media training needed? Is it really any different to using Facebook privately? Sure, you may have personal Twitter and Facebook profiles, but social media for business requires a different set of skills. It’s more than tweeting about what you had for lunch or uploading photos from your latest holiday. Successful social media presence for business requires a well planned and executed strategy and only somebody with a fully comprehensive knowledge of social media platforms can shape this well.
The online world moves rapidly, with over 100 hours of video uploaded onto YouTube every minute. With the rapid pace of social media trends, keeping up to date on social activity is crucial for social media managers. Contemporary and socially savvy consumers want the latest news, updates, content and offers and similarly, businesses can expect a constant stream of enquiries, engagement and questions. With social media occurring around the clock, investing in training can help community managers understand how to best filter the content, engagement and other social activity.
Social media training also saves time. Investing in training can bring a wealth of new knowledge – including knowledge on tools you may not even know exist. Tools such as Hootsuite and Bitly can make social media management more simple and easier to organise. These tools are designed to save community managers’ time – something that’s all too valuable in today’s consumer-centric landscape.
Investing in social media training enables companies to consider the business ethos and personality they wish to express on social platforms. Emitting different content from various social platforms doesn’t demonstrate a consistent brand image, however if training is invested in, social media presence becomes much more unified and cohesive.
With the benefits of social media training outlined above and the growing dependence on social networks from customers, now really is the best time to swot up and acquire valuable skills that will help your social strategy to flourish.