'Social Media' is the use of web-based or mobile technology to turn communication into an interactive dialogue and has been an integral part of the internet since the beginning. The platflorms and the way we use them may have changed rapidly over recent years, but fundamentally they all allow for the creation and exchange of user-generated content and conversations and have changed the way that we communicate between organisations, communities and individuals.
With it's rise in popularity, organisations are interacting more with their customers online and indeed driving new and existing customers to their social media sites to engage about their brands rather than their corporate sites.
This leads to customers driving the conversations, with the more interesting ones 'bubbling' to the top and an open exchagne of ideas and views.
Allowing communities to develop like this can help to strengthen brand loyalty, gather ideas and conduct market research - of course it also lets people air their grievances.
With all this activity, social media platforms generate huge amounts of valuable, publically accessible data, which can help organisations make decisions and operate better.
Some companies use social media simple because everyone else is, but without being able to measure performance...
These are important questions, because although social media platforms tend to be free, there is a cost to manage them and a cost for when it goes wrong!
So companies need a social media strategy!
QVSource connects to many social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogging sites, see the growing list here