Choose the Right Social Platform For Your Business

With Facebook on track to reach one billion users, reports that 75% of marketers will increase their social media spending this year, and predictions that social media will transform TV and influence the presidential election, it’s no wonder 2012 has been touted as the “Year of Social Media.”

Hyperbolic headlines like these might convince you that if you don’t incorporate social media into your business, you’ll soon be out of business. But before you race to register a Twitter account or create a Facebook fan page, you should check a few of your assumptions. Is it really necessary for you to be part of these two social networks? Sure, they’re the most popular platforms and likely your competitors are already using them – both compelling reasons – but that doesn’t mean either of them is the best option for you.

There’s a universe of social media platforms available with a variety of capabilities, some of which will be more suited to your business needs than others. Effective social media strategies take money and resources, two things most businesses today have in short supply. And despite the cacophony of voices that would have you believe that 100,000 Facbook followers or a steady diet
of a half-dozen Tweets a day is the magic bullet for all your marketing ills, marketing may in fact be the least valuable -- and most unnecessarily limiting -- social media tactic for your business. To maximize your investment, you need to decide what the best use of social media is for you. Here are a few things for you to consider.

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Introducing "Go Social"

Does the world really need another blog about social media? We invested some serious effort into exploring this question before making the decision to launch "Go Social," the blog you're reading now. (As you might have surmised, the conclusion we came to was "yes.")

There's more to social media than just Facebook and Twitter.
There's no shortage of chatter about social media on the web, but much of it -- in our opinion, anyway -- remains too tightly focused on a narrow set of use cases loosely described as "marketing." The lion's share appears dedicated to the dubious aim of getting more followers, getting more shares or retweets, or "going viral" (whatever that means). But it’s not clear to us what followers, as a numerical value, actually do for a business. Shares and retweets may be a vague indicator of engagement, but only if they come from (and go out to) genuinely engaged human audiences. And "going viral" is, more often than not, an objective doomed to failure.

So while there's a lot of noise on the web about using social media in business, relatively little of that chatter actually helps businesses to discover the potential value of social media across the whole spectrum of business use cases and guides companies in developing holistic strategies and practical tactics for putting social tools to work inside and outside their organizations. This blog aims to do exactly those things.

Who We Are

Over time, we'll work hard to make sure "Go Social" exemplifies the principles it espouses. That is to say, it'll be open, inquisitive, interactive, and engaged with its audience on the social web. While we'll always uphold PCWorld's high editorial standards in choosing which content to serve on this blog, we intend to open it up to outside contributors whose perspectives illuminate the broader landscape of social business.

Anchoring the blog on a week-to-week basis will be Robert Strohmeyer and Michael Ansaldo, two veteran technology journalists who've written for a wide selection of top tech sites over the past couple of decades, and who now put their collective energies to work creating impactful social media and content campaigns for top-tier technology partners through our company’s content marketing service, PCWorld Content Works.

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