Social media is the fastest adopted form of media in human history. There are thousands of statistics available to measure the growth of social media, but whichever you chose, it is clear using social media is an increasing part of business life in the 21st century.

Brands like Virgin, American Express and Pepsi are all early adopters of social media, and are experimenting with the best way to use it for them.  Michael Chui from McKinsey says: ‘Social media is all about P2P (people to people) and that’s its power.’

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The old adage that people buy people still holds; social media is just an enabler tool. You can’t have dinner with a contact every week, but you can make sure that once a week your contact sees your name or company pop up in their inbox.

 The difference between social media sites:

Taking the four most well known sites (chosen by growth), there are, of course, differences in user demographics, but understanding how the different sites are used by the community can be summed up by the following:

Twitter:  “I am going to do this project”

FaceBook: “I have done this project and have a look at what I did’

You Tube: “Watch me doing this project” 

LinkedIn: “I am an expert at this type of project and could help you”

Using social media for business is about creating a conversation with customers and contacts. It’s about talking with, not talking at prospects and clients.  The Harvard Business Review says the benefits of that conversation are deeper and more trusting relationships. It’s a natural step from traditional networking, as when someone feels connected to another person, they are more likely to consider doing business. Using social media is extending and leveraging that traditional network.