Why Social Media is important for your business

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Consumers are now exposed to many contents online and different marketing strategies are being used by companies to communicate their brands. This is a good time for businesses to establish their presence online in order to communicate with their consumers online.
Here are 5 reasons why it’s important for your business to use social media.

  • Social media platforms have become a major part of our lives. The current trends show a significant amount of consumers use mobile phones and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest to communicate with friends and know what is happening around them. Businesses can participate in this social conversation by setting up accounts on social media platforms and interacting with their consumers. This increases your company’s presence online and creates awareness of your products and services.
  • Social media allows businesses to reach their targeted audience and engaged with them one on one. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are used by companies to interact with their customer base. Using these platforms allows you to get an insight into your customer’s lives by reading their tweets, statuses and also replying to their queries. For example, if you are facing problems with your new product or service, you are most likely going to receive customer complaint on social media immediately. This is important for a business because you can rectify and respond to your customers immediately. This feedback will help you improve your products or services.
  • Social media has improved interaction between businesses and consumers. This interaction (posting, sharing content) on social media platforms creates a relationship between the consumer and their brands. A business can read their consumers tweets and status updates to get insights into their daily lives. This can help a business adjust its marketing strategy to suit their targeted market.
  • Online shoppers are influenced by product reviews/endorsements. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin, Youtube and blogs play a big part in influencing shoppers to buy your product. Consumers now rate the products they buy to their friends, fans and followers. This kind of review is more authentic to people and has a better chance of creating leads. Having good reviews on these platforms can create a good rapport to have your products or services bought.
  • Social media provides businesses with greater access to their customers buying patterns. Social media has given companies statistical data which they can use to serve their customers better. For example, Facebook analytics can help a cosmetic company understand what their customers like most by seeing what they click and interact with the most on your page. It also provides information such as; what time your customers usually access your page, which time of the week is the busiest and the turnover you can get from each product a customer clicks to buy your product. This information is essential for you business because you are able to concentrate on the products that your consumers like, furthermore improve on the ones that are not performing well.

Richard Branson stated that “social media is such a terrific way to connect with our customers that I would never miss out”. Looking at the worldwide sales of ecommerce you can have a better understanding why social media is important for your business. In recent years there has been an increase in people shopping online. According to Statista.com, the B2C ecommerce sales worldwide stood at 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars in 2013. It is estimated that ecommerce sales worldwide will reach 2.35 trillion U.S. dollars by 2018. That’s an increase of over 1 trillion dollars in sales within 5 years. This is due to an increase in consumers being open minded to shop online and embracing the digital experience. Social media is important for your company because more people are using social media as a reference to buy products, furthermore consumers usually post and review products they have bought on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This can be a great driving force for your product sales.

Have a look at some interesting statistics courtesy of Digital Insight

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Critical Thinking – Critical Thinking and Its Importance in Education

Introduction

Technology, travel and business have brought countries together, so does our thinking evolve. No more thinking within our boundaries, we need critical thinking to evaluate our own decisions in everything we do. For example, how do you teach students without discriminating their beliefs or religion? How do we start a business in a country with different laws from ours and still incorporate our business values? So, what is critical thinking?

What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking according to Hamilton-Reeves (2009) is the process of filtering information by removing emotional and environmental discrepancies and remaining neutral to make the most accurate decision. On the other hand Elder and Paul (1994, pp.34-35) believes critical thinking is the “ability of thinkers to take charge of their own thinking by developing sound criteria and standards for analyzing and assessing” information to make an informed decision. Lastly, critical thinking from a general psychology point of view is analyzing ones standards, facts and assessing conclusions (Petress, 2004). From the above analysis, it is apparent that critical thinking is a process that guides ones logical decision making process by analyzing all possible information before making a decision, therefore reducing the chances of making quick and unethical decisions. According to Hamilton-Reeves (2009), critical thinking improves your chances of solving difficult problems because all possible solutions are
analyzed before making a decision.

Approaches to critical Thinking

Critical thinking has a number of approaches, but only three types of
approaches will be analyzed.

  1. Firstly, from an education point of view, Barnett (1997) suggests critical thinking should be tackled by developing techniques that reflect critically on knowledge and development of critical self reflection. For example, teachers should encourage their students to research by asking questions that stimulate hunger for knowledge.
  2. Secondly, from a psychology point of view, Petress (2004) states that there is need for “examining assumptions, discern hidden values, evaluate evidence and assess conclusion”.
  3. Lastly, Rusbult (2004) suggests that one needs to be taught to “develop skills, abilities and values crucial to success in everyday life”. For example, a teacher should question a student using Socratic questioning like “why do you think that works like that”.

Importance in Education

Barnett (1997) suggests that critical thinking is important to apply in education because students can change their thought process and become more critical thinkers. In turn, empowering students with critical thinking skills that enables them to “identify, classify information to make intelligent and ethical decisions” (Braun, 2004, p. 232-236). As schools become diverse and curriculum’s become global, students need to take into account different cultures, ethics and religious backgrounds. Critical thinking is about having an interest in finding new solutions by examining problems closely and looking to support those ideas. Therefore critical thinking skills can give students the ability to understand what they are given in class, and develop the skills to build upon the knowledge they have learnt.

Conclusion

It can be concluded that critical thinking in education is the stepping stone for students to acquire critical thinking skills that will broaden their knowledge base. This will empower students with a curious mind to discover new solutions, in turn creating a learning society that takes into account information, ethics, different cultures and religious backgrounds when making decisions.

References

Barnett, R. (1997). Higher Education: A critical business.

Braun, N. M. (2004). Critical thinking in business curriculum. Journal of education for business.

Critical Thinking Co (2005). What is Critical Thinking? : Critical Thinking
Definition.

Elder, L. and Paul, R. (1994). Critical Thinking: why we must transform our teaching.

Hamilton-Revees, X. (2009). Critical thinking defined.

Petress, K. (2004). ‘Critical Thinking: An extended definition’.

Rusbult, C. (2001). Critital Thinking In Education And Life.

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