One of the main advantages of social media is that businesses can get involved in a discussion a lot more quickly than was previously possible.
In most sectors there will be a news story now and again that’s likely to generate a lot of interest and it’s important to capitalise on that if you can.
For instance, when national newspapers reported earlier this month that Britain was in the grip of a pumpkin shortage, it was interesting to see a number of enterprising greengrocers heading to Twitter to assure local people they still had plenty of the vegetables in stock.
Just a few lines of text, but it could well have pushed a little bit more business in their direction.
Another example of a specific line of work grabbing the headlines came a couple of weeks ago, when the Supreme Court ruled on a particularly important divorce case. When the news broke it was the main story on the BBC’s website and it was soon splashed across countless other news sites.
Social-media savvy solicitors will have realised this was an ideal opportunity to engage with a topic that was at the very top of the news agenda. Within hours, Twitter was awash with family law teams offering their comments and answering the inevitable questions that the case had thrown up.
This is a chance to connect with potential clients that just didn’t exist 20 years ago. Back then the best a firm could hope for was to take out a couple of extra adverts in the local newspaper – by which time the story which may have generated additional interest in their services would likely have faded from people’s minds.
Whereas with Twitter, Facebook and other platforms, those quick off the mark can be available to clarify, comment and advise as soon as news breaks.