Engage with social networks, or be ignored by potential clients

Social media has changed the world; it has changed the way people communicate, and it has revolutionised the way that businesses seek to attract new customers and connect with their existing client base. With such a premium placed on connectivity,?UK entrepreneur and business development expert?Scott Dylanis warning businesses large and small that they must take social media as seriously as other sales platforms if they want to get ahead.

It is no secret that social media has, for a long time, been the future of business promotions and marketing. Some 53 per cent of people now recommend companies using Twitter, and around half of people who buy online have made a purchase based on a recommendation they found on a social network. The ability to connect on a more personal and approachable level through websites, such as Facebook and Google+, has opened up a whole world of opportunities for businesses seeking to further their digital marketing. The prospects cannot be ignored; if businesses engage with social media and digital promotions in the right way, they could greatly improve their own marketing strategies and become more profitable.

As the world’s most visited site, Facebook is one of those most responsible for the boom in digital marketing on social networks. Over 56 per cent of people check their Facebook accounts daily, and they recently bought out Instagram, another key promotional platform for certain businesses. It is not yet clear how the two networks will merge and enhance one another, but it is obvious that the social network and the photo-sharing app will combine to form one of the most important digital promotional tools around.

LinkedIn is a site strictly for professionals, and the professionals who use it reap the rewards of interacting with one another as well as their clients. One person joins LinkedIn every second of every day, and the site can not only help with promotions and marketing, it can also help with lead generation and follow-ups. With around 171m users altogether, business owners need to connect on LinkedIn to boost their social presence and create a professional persona for themselves.

Twitter has been touted as a news-sharing website, but businesses are finding new ways to promote their wares and their services on the network. Twitter is great for connecting with influential people, and a RT or endorsement from a powerful figure in a certain field can do wonders for follower counts and potential clients. It is widely stated that businesses have not yet harnessed the true power of Twitter as a marketing resource, with its convenient hashtags, integrated media posts and millions of daily users.

While these sites may be the headline grabbers, Dylan advises all department heads, CEOs and MDs to stray off the beaten path and be pro-active about keeping on top of social media trends. He says, ?Other networks are also coming to prominence and making their mark on the world of digital communications and marketing. It would be a big mistake and one that is committed often to think that just knowing what Facebook is and having a company Twitter account is enough. Pinterest has won numerous breakthrough awards for its innovative design, and it offers companies the ability to share graphic representations of their services, or simply to share content their client base might find interesting.

Tumblr is a microblogging site which tends to attract a younger crowd and is ideal for the brands with a younger demographic. Google+, though often toted as one of the main social networks that businesses should be using, is starting to find its feet after it failed to hit the ground running when it launched. The social media outlook for 2013 is simple: engage with social networks, or be ignored by masses of potential clients.

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