When you think of social media, your first thought isn’t necessarily about business. Of course, social media is big business. On your end (the client side) you see the effects of business interest in the form of ads and promotions, and as much as these may be annoying, they’re the bottom layer of what makes it all work.
But it’s not just about ads and market-revenue. There’s business going online that’s more personable and self invested. From public awareness groups trying to spread the word, to small startups trying to drum up interest, everyone from the corporate conglomerate to the individual freelancer has a stake in getting seen … and getting seen in the right light. The truth is, social media is so much a part of the professional world that it has successfully blurred the lines between private issues and public affairs. For good and bad, social media = social attention.
In this ongoing countdown of current social movers and shakers, we’ll highlight some of the more popular avenues that businesses take, and that individuals take to show they mean business.
It may seem like Facebook always gets top billing, and that’s because it is currently the undisputed leader of social media. Even though there are various SM outlets geared toward business (See LinkedIn below), Facebook is still as likely a place for an employers to look when they want to assess a hiring candidate.
Employers can and will investigate your posts, pictures and activities – inasmuch as your privacy settings allow it. Your likes and interests can tell someone what kind of activities you engage in, your political leanings and your relationships with co-employees, bosses and businesses as a whole. It’s not doom and gloom though. Most people have come to accept this and so there’s a good-sense movement that encourages people to be free on Facebook, but also be careful. Many go so far as to keep professionalism in mind, tailoring or even tweaking their profiles to show not only who they are, but in equal amounts their affiliations and abilities.
On the business end though, Facebook has become a hub of keeping up. Businesses don’t have profiles the same way people do. Instead they have pages, just like a given book or movie or tv show. Other people can like the page, and the act of garnering likes can translate to traffic to that page. So what goes on it? Usually there’s a banner heading for the company showcasing the brand, and getting the word out about a great product or service. Ahem …