Whether your position of leadership is in a private corporation, public organization, educational institute or nonprofit agency, you must be aware of social media's growing influence on customers, clients, employees and shareholders. If you do not have an intentional and coordinated plan for using a variety of social media platforms, you may be missing out on one of the most important forms of communication available to you.
Why an Advanced Understanding of Social Media Is Important
The growth of social media use is on the rise. According to global statistics gathered by Smart Insights, "The number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is 3.196 billion, up 13 percent year-on-year." This data indicated that the fastest growing demographic using Twitter is the 55-64 age bracket. Facebook and Google+ have both seen the fastest growth in the 45-54 bracket.
Being social media savvy is also important for the following three reasons:
- Purchasing decisions are influenced by social media. Smart Insights found that 40 percent of users decide what to buy based on what they have seen while browsing online communities.
- The lack of a strategy gives your competitors the advantage. Just as marketing and advertising campaigns require careful and strategic wording and placement, the use of social media to build your business must be carefully planned, implemented and tracked. Many of your competitors have a strong online presence. Your absence is probably noticed by past, current and prospective customers and clients.
- Social media users rely on key influencers when making purchases. Although your service or product may receive high marks in the "Comment" or "Review" section, those words may never be seen by those ready to buy who do not visit your website. When an influencer weighs in, people listen.
A Course Designed to Build Your Social Media Savvy
Because many of your colleagues are already online, depending on their insight to plan your social media approach may initially seem effective. A more intense study of online communities and platforms, however, will give you an edge as you develop a strategic plan.
In one doctoral-level Managing Social Media in Organizations class at St. Thomas University, professors teach their graduate students to "develop a sound social media plan that supports the entire organization in a fluid, harmonious way, and integrate all desired social media platforms of the organization."
In this intensive study of different social platforms, professors introduce the tools you need to assess which of the various social media tools and structures will best meet the needs of your organization's desired outcomes and goals.
This course, included in the online Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation program offered by St. Thomas University is designed to "promote an awareness of [your] organization among potential clients; expand the mission of the organization; and build an identity and brand image." It will strengthen your social media image and help you bring your online presence to a new level.
Sources:Smart Insights: Global Social Media Research Summary 2018
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