If you are in the world of business communication, you are forced to rub shoulders with social media advocates, gurus, and evangelists. It is also important to note that social media is no longer an emerging platform, but an established one. Therefore, the statistics gathered on social media and its claimed advantages in business are revealing more about the true effectiveness of the medium as time goes by.
Extreme views often necessitate extreme opposition to balance them out, and despite what many would have us believe, we don’t yet live in a world where a sub 140-character tweet and a hasty posting on Facebook are sufficient to build lasting credibility and reliable revenue. Social media in its current form is just too cramped and informal to serve as the bone and marrow of business communication … or the soul of a brand’s reputation.

 

It is difficult to get a down-and-dirty introduction to what social media is, and how it can be used for business purposes, without having someone trying to convince you that you cannot do it without their expert advice. Consultants who want to sell this next big thing in marketing produce most of the (mis)information out there. The ills and wonders of social media are being hyped to the point where companies become despondent regarding the medium. In the one ear, they are whispered honey-glazed words of how amazing social media is and how it can help their business grow, and in the other ear, they are accosted with the risks and potential disasters that will befall them, lest they fork out for the counsel of some social media expert. This article has none of that conditioning talk. The aim of this article is to dispel some of the hysteria (on both sides of the argument) that accompanies social media discussions.