Many businesses who could really benefit from getting involved with social media are put off by the hype and vagueness around what Social Media is and does. Over the next few days we’re going to try and address that with a few specific examples of where and how it can be used.

Let’s start with what’s probably the most common use – social media marketing.

Ohhhh, that sounds technical, doesn’t it? Sometimes even we wonder how many people who fling that phrase about have forgotten what it really means. Allow us to translate: REACHING YOUR CUSTOMERS’ FRIENDS. Sorry to shout, but we want to be really sure you heard that clearly.

Birds of a feather do indeed flock together. Or to put it another way, people like people who are like them.

(We’re leaving a short pause here for you to smile at the picture. Really. We defy you not to….)

Sorry, back to the subject. So, who are the one group of people most likely to consume your product or service? Yup, the friends of your existing customers. Whether you’re selling organic tea bags or running a driving school, imagine being able to put your product or service directly in front of your customers’ friends… well, that’s one of the things that social media can do for you.

Add to that being able to include a recommendation, actual or implied, from your customer to their friends, and what you have is global word of mouth which isn’t limited by continent or time zone.

In the most simple terms, that’s all we’re talking about. Businesses use social media to get access to their customers’ friends.

We can’t think of too many other ways to achieve that, short of gatecrashing their birthday parties with your company logo on a billboard…and we won’t be accepting liability for the results of that one!

Up next: Social Media for real-time communication