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What businesses learnt from Social Media Week

Social Media Week 2014 came to an end recently, with many marketers leaving the event with a great deal. Despite it not yet having a glittering reputation on the conference circuit, there are signs of it becoming a key player.

Writing for the Guardian, blogger James Whatley has  selected his top points to take away for the week to help build and grow your business, the top three of which make sense:

Commercialisation

The first aspect of social media that Whatley writes about is its decreasing ‘fluffiness’. This, he says, is not about the way marketers are using it to promote firms; rather, this was more a reflection on how large corporates are becoming more sophisticated to extricate profit streams from the various platforms available.

Once again, the utilisation of social media for pure hard business has seen great growth in 2014. Additionally, social media remains an integral part in pushing forward civil campaigns.

Stupidisation

Social media has always been a great platform for being a little different and out of the ordinary, or for being completely and utterly ridiculous. It still offers this option to its business users, despite the increasing corporatisation of it as a marketing method.

However, innovations on social still need to be played in line with the rules of engagement set by search giant Google – despite its own Google+ network lagging behind Twitter and Facebook. You can go too far on this though, so having a robust check and balance system in place is only sensible.

It is clear that social media is a maturing and still-developing platform for business and, where it goes from here is really not known. However, to truly make it effective, understanding what returns on investment through the platform can be achieved – and how that ROI can be monitored and furthered – is fundamentally essential.

John is every inch the wordsmith and loves a game of Scrabble above all else. With experience writing for newspapers, John’s time at university was spent studying Creative Writing – something which comes across in his love of the pun.

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