One Professor's Take on Social Media in Business
Long gone are the days of Myspace and FourSquare. The evolution of online networking goes beyond the death of Vine, or the Facebook Live epidemic. We need to keep up.
Social media is now a prevalent, if not essential, part of the business world. For any size company, a strong social media presence can build customer loyalty, drive traffic and increase awareness.
In order to better understand social media in business and how the platforms are evolving, I interviewed Dr. Brian Spaid, a Retail Management Professor and Marketing Advisor at Marquette University. Dr.Spaid began his career at Hensley Segal Rentschler, an integrated marketing firm. He later worked at Adapt Tech in Silicon Valley, and finally in a smaller, interactive marketing agency in Tennessee. While there, Dr. Spaid received his PHD from the University of Tennessee—Knoxville, which helped relocate him to his current home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
What was one of the primary social media platforms that you used in past work experiences?
“So, previous to Facebook, all we really had was Myspace. Crazy, I know. Myspace was already kind of a wasteland, but Facebook was coming up strong.”
Writer’s notes: It’s difficult to think of a time before Facebook was considered “the big thing.” Clearly people longed for a social media platform for networking and connecting with one another. Since the early stages of technology, the need for a platform that promoted interaction was evident.
Is social media necessary for a business to thrive in modern day?
“Now [that] I am teaching in the business school at Marquette and have begun research [on social media], I do completely see the importance of it. It’s incredible.”
Writer’s notes: It took me losing 20 followers after an Instagram hiatus to realize the importance of frequency and content. Keep in mind, this example is quite trivial and semi-embarrassing (something I have come to realize), but it exemplifies how removing yourself from the social media bubble offers clarity in terms of its importance. It is crucial for businesses to create a strong and lasting impression in the social networking world.
What are your thoughts on Twitter?
“I would say the future of Twitter is very much in the air… Twitter is a good platform, but I would say more from a customer service standpoint.”
Writer’s notes: Spaid further explained that Twitter is harder to use when trying to share content and keep up with conversations due to its lack of organization and direction. I admit, it can be a challenge to follow a conversation via Twitter and I would personally often prefer to do so via Facebook.
What social media platform is stronger than Twitter?
“Facebook knows who you are, who all your friends are, how old you are… think of all the information they can make available to those advertisers. The targeting is amazing.”
Writer’s notes: Facebook truly does own a large piece of the social media space, as well as the demographic information of everyone who uses the site (which makes ad targeting simple). It's easy navigation, swift sharing capabilities and mutually-exclusive relationships with other applications only makes it more knowledgeable of one’s public and private life.
When it comes to B2C v. B2B, is there a difference when using social media for marketing and sales?
“[If you] are selling B2B, you are not selling to another business, you are selling to an individual in that business… The holy grail is that [it is still] 1-to-1.”
Writer’s notes: At the most basic level, Dr. Spaid is saying that it doesn’t matter if you are B2B, you still sell and market P2P (person to person).
Whether it is on a personal or business level, understanding the power social media has on our success is critical. Make sure to keep this in mind during your future social media endeavours!
Do you agree with Dr. Spaid? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Looking for assistance with your social media presence? Check out our comprehensive guide to social media.
For more tips and facts, follow Dr.Brian Spaid on Twitter: @Brianspaid.