A little while back, I sent out a request via Twitter asking if anyone would be interested in being interviewed for a discussion on social media. With the medium meaning so many different things to so many people, as well as how it can be used, I was interested to hear the views of the people I connect with.
My original plan was to run a “round table” style of blog post – raise the questions and then have a mix of views as the responses. However, the answers I received back were all excellent, and showed why social media is the mix of interesting people and views that it is. So, I decided individual posts would be far more effective in an on-going series of interviews.
Sharing his views today is Mark Harai, a consultant at GAC Consultants, a social media marketing and business development consultancy. My sincere thanks to Mark for taking the time to reply and share his views. To connect with Mark, or find out more about him, please visit the GAC Consultants blog.
If someone was to ask you for your definition of social media, what would it be?
Virtual communication platforms on the Internet for people to communicate.
What is your reason for using social media?
To expand my network, business and relationships.
Do you feel that social media is being used to its maximum effect?
I do believe it is productive and will eventually arrive; but is still defining itself.
What social media tools or applications do you use? Why these ones in particular?
Twitter – Linkedin – Facebook. In my quest to learn and participate in social media, these were/are the most suggested tools. Having immersed myself in social media now for the past 3 months, I have found that these are in fact the most effective tools for business and networking; mind boggling.
Where do you see the future of social media, both in general and for you?
Here to stay for certain. For small businesses, it will have a profound affect on who does business and where they do it ‘globally’. Because social media has eliminated the barriers to building quality relationships on a
global scale, small business ($100 million or less) will have a more international flavor. For big business and branding – it will require personally touching consumers; no more hiding behind carefully crafted messaging and professionally managed images. This will provide many opportunities for small and emerging market companies/brands that know how to have relationships with people.
I fit in the first category; hence, I am participating with Danny Brown from the UK (now in Canada) that I would not have known were it not for Twitter. I also get to participate in a very productive exercise that I believe will help define social media. Pretty awesome if you think about it.
Are businesses effectively using social media? If not, what can they do to improve?
Big and small businesses are certainly discovering ways to effectively use social media. But I feel there is a way to go yet to identify ‘THE’ successful uses and strategies of social media and to set the standards of this evolving industry. Business leaders are already participating and contributing to the growth and expansion of social media and everyday it gets better, more powerful and more user-friendly.
What do you feel are the best and worst features/uses of social media?
Best: transparency/building relationships.
Worst: abusive non-constructive use of the benefits – spamming and impersonal marketing approaches.
- You can find more “Discussing Social Media with…” interviews here.