I WILL be the first to say that I am excited about embracing the tech revolution and it is a key thread of the future economic development of our little slice of paradise and, more widely, the world.

In fact, the more time I spend reading and working with businesses who manage disruption, the more convinced I am that getting prepared is an opportunity which needs to be grasped with both hands.

The sphere of digital commerce has seen innovation aplenty, including the utilisation of social media as a mechanism to reach current and new clients. The potential of this for your business is obvious — access to friends and active fans but also the ability for your business to be "shared" with new customers. To do this effectively you will doubtless need a carefully planned strategy and time to invest to keep it current and "real".

I am already on record as being a sceptic when it comes to social media and business, but returning from a recent conference and seeing real gains being made in new ways, I actually see more potential in the newer platforms like Instagram than I do with Twitter and Facebook. I am not a huge user of social media, but there seems to be more power in delivering short, sharp pictorial messages on Instagram and You Tube than sifting through some of the dross that appears on Twitter and Facebook.

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With regard to Facebook, data security issues aside, the market has an uncanny ability to cut through the PR and for me the commercial potency wanes when you have to fight to get your message out among people informing you of every aspect of their lives — no matter how inane.

I don't know about you, but in my world if you are trying to communicate about your business you don't want your message to be in between someone announcing they have the 'flu, invites to play "Fortnite", commentary amounting to "fake news" and one of the thousands of "chain letter posts".

And what is it about food? Pre-Facebook (and even right now) I have no desire to be informed that an acquaintance has whipped up a "mean" chicken Madras with basmati rice. But this is the "competition" for your message on Facebook and Twitter (to a lesser extent).

Russell Bell
Russell Bell

You also need to be very careful about what you post. The last thing that you want is a less-than-flattering photo of yourself being associated with your business endeavours — or any other endeavour, for that matter.

Just as you would invest a lot of time and care in launching a marketing campaign, if you use social media in any form you should take care in how you are portraying yourself and your business. You must have a strategy and ensure posts are consistent with it.

So, I guess social media and associated marketing approaches are also subject to constant change — it occurs here just as it does everywhere else and new platforms arise all the time. If you want to pursue this and need advice on the best platform for you, talk to me and I can steer you towards the professionals.

Balance Consulting is a Whanganui consultancy specialising in business strategy, process excellence and leadership mentoring — contact Russell on 021 2442421 or John Taylor on 027 4995872