Assignment #4: Purpose is Paramount in Social Media

In his article, “Where Most Got Social Business All Wrong, Including Me,” Michael Brito posits that businesses need to have an objective when creating social media; otherwise they are wasting their time, aimlessly creating without utilizing. A lot of articles and information about social media seems to focus on the what or the how, but Brito focuses on the why. Without this why or purpose to social media, the what and the how don’t really matter that much. It’s easy to see why it might be tempting for a company to join a site like Twitter and aimlessly jump right into tweeting, but Brito creates a convincing argument for the effectiveness of taking some time to first create objectives for doing so.

Brito uses the term “media company” to describe the transformation businesses need to undergo, becoming a “content machine” that’s relevant, recent, omnipresent and agile. Brito’s description of a “media company” does a good job of communicating how this idea differs from the traditional approach. Social media moves very quickly, and businesses are expected to keep up by providing relevant and recent information that agilely adapts to situations and is communicated across many different channels. These demanding goals of a media company further emphasize the importance of developing objectives. Without a strong idea of what it wants to accomplish, it would be difficult for a company to keep up with these demands.

Brito also makes an insightful point about focusing on the desires of consumers. He states, “Relevance is understanding what your customers are interested in and deciding what you want to say that adds value to that interest.” Simply using social media to promote one’s own interests is an easy trap for businesses. It’s easy for a business to constantly tweet only about how great their product is, but that’s going to quickly lose the interest of their customers. Instead, they need to think of what their customers want and give it to them. This could be useful coupons, humor, interesting campaigns or something else entirely. A large challenge of social media is determining what customers want and how to deliver it to them. Again, without setting goals, it’s going to be hard for businesses to satisfy their customer’s desires.

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