“Clients were coming in to get tested because of word of mouth referrals and during their risk assessment they state they are hooking up with people they have met over social media. We even had clients that tested HIV positive from a social media hookup.
“I heard about social media because of my children, but I had no idea what it was all about. My children told me that everybody is using social media to keep in touch with people, find new people, find out what is happening in the world, and see what is trending.
“I thought I am a small black non-profit organization, I can’t afford to pay for advertisements about my business, so how can I get the word out about MASS. After doing some research, and finding out social media is a free resource to get an online presence, I knew we had to do something to let people know who we were and what we do.”
– Marolyn Edmonds
In today’s technology era, having an online presence is very important, but which one is best for your business. There are several different types of online platforms ranging from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, Pandora, Pinterest, Tidal, and YouTube. A majority of the online platforms are social media.
Social Media is rapidly turning into one of the most critical facets of digital marketing, which presents astonishing benefits that help grasp lots of customers throughout the world (Nelson, 2018).
In a Business 2 Community article, Dhariana Lozano (2016) says there are ten benefits of social media for business:
1. Better exposure
2. Find out about your audience
5. New Prospects
6. Reasonable assessment
9. Brand equity
For these reasons alone, MASS knew we had to get on social media, but which one would be best for us.
First and foremost, we looked at our demographics to see which one would reach the majority of our clientele. We service an age range of 18 – 55+, which was the age range of the majority of Facebook users. In 2010 Facebook was the most popular social network site with 608 million users (The Associated Press, 2013). As of January 2010, 29% of the Facebook users were 35-54, and 25.3% were 18-24 according to Peter Corbett (n.d.) of StrategyLabs.com.
We then had to find out which sites our potential clients were using the most. We haphazardly asked a few current clients and their responses varied, but each of them said Facebook.
After finding out our demographics and the sites our clients used, we had to determine which location would supplement our goals. We had to see the content structures that would work best for MASS. We wanted to share information via text, pictures, and videos and Facebook was the site that allowed this type of sharing.
So in 2011, we created our first social media page on Facebook. Initially, we didn’t manage our page well, but as of today, we post our events and relative information about HIV.
Facebook was our first social media site, but we had to join others over the years as we started to see that our clients were using other sites. So as of today, we now have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Corbett, P. (n.d.). Facebook Demographics and Statistics 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/document/24763128/Facebook-Demographics-and-Statistics-2010
Edmonds, M. (2018, June 10). MASS Program Administrator. (T. Edmonds, Interviewer) Norfolk, Virginia.
Lozano, D. (2016, February 19). 10 Key Benefits of Social Media for Business. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from Business 2 Community: https://www.business2community.com/social-media/10-key-benefits-social-media-business-01461178
Nelson, S. (2018, February 6). 7 reasons why social media marketing is important for your business. Retrieved June 11, 2018, from Digital Doughnut: https://www.digitaldoughnut.com/articles/2018/february/7-reasons-why-social-media-marketing-is-important
The Associated Press. (2013, May 1). Number of active users at Facebook over the years. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from Yahoo: https://www.yahoo.com/news/number-active-users-facebook-over-230449748.html
Tameka Edmonds is an MBA student at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va.