Now you see me…

Social media is often viewed as a transient thing with posts disappearing into the ether never to be seen again and platforms often reported to be on the way out as new, fresher, rivals emerge on the scene.

CBI Social MediaThis belief can be off putting for businesses who don’t know whether it’s worth investing time and money in social media, and even if they are willing to invest don’t know which platforms to choose.

However, in terms of the platforms in particular, Mark Twain’s quote, “The report of my death was an exaggeration” comes to mind. There have been countless times over the years that we’ve heard the end is nigh for Twitter and LinkedIn in particular, yet both remain hugely popular platforms, especially in the business environment.

Twitter has been around since 2006 and LinkedIn since 2002; these are hardly ‘fly by night’ ventures. Facebook and Instagram also have their place in many businesses’ social media armouries.

It’s worth remembering too, that despite their seemingly fleeting nature Tweets and Posts never entirely disappear, although with the transfer of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (www.eugdrpr.org) into UK law and the increasing ‘right to be forgotten’ that may be something that changes. The new law could have a huge impact on any one who collects and uses data, so it’s important to check out your rights and responsibilities if you haven’t already done so.

Back to the social media though, and we believe it should be thought of as agile rather than transient. Platforms evolve and adapt to users’ needs as any company should. Twitter managed to expand its appeal by making Tweets go further when it removed images from its character count for instance. This meant it could offer people expanded messaging options, without losing its core identity and source of popularity – i.e. brevity is still the soul of wit on the platform. It’s a fine balancing act though to evolve and keep customers happy, as anyone who runs a business will know.

Like the majority of communications tools, social media can be aided by images and videos. That’s the sort of content that gets you noticed and shared. The ability to stream events live on Facebook and Twitter is also a very powerful tool and the sort of development that shows neither platform will be going away anytime soon.

In this day and age social media is a key part of many companies communications’ approach. It’s not going to win you vast contracts by itself, but it adds to brand presence and accessibility, helping potential clients and future employees understand what you’re all about. It can help build and maintain your relationship with customers – and the value of that is something that will never change.

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