(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) It's easy to set up a Facebook or Twitter account; anyone can do it. But despite this, many companies are still getting their social media strategy wrong, says Akanksha Goel, managing account director of Socialize.
"Socialize has been around for about two years to train companies in social media, because many people think they can just do it themselves," said Goel.
Goel's interest in social media began at university in Singapore, where she wrote her thesis on the subject. "It just so happened that one of my lecturers was one of the first in the world to teach social media in the classroom. At that time social media hadn't even opened up in Asia, but I wrote my thesis on it from an academic point of view."
After a spell as editor-in-chief at Stuff Magazine in Singapore, she joined Socialize, the region's first dedicated social media marketing agency and consultancy headquartered in Dubai.
Although anyone can create a social media account, maximising the potential of the medium is where the challenge lies, explained Goel. "The benefits of social media have been evident for the last two or three years. Now I think businesses secretly wish that it was just one of those fads that would go away. But come 2012 we're seeing that it's not going away and we're seeing that many businesses are doing it just because everyone else is, not because they want to. But the ones who jumped on early are starting to see the benefits. And the new ones " I wouldn't say they've just found out how good it is, but they've found out that it's not going away." Social media, by its very nature, is a fast-changing phenomenon. Trying to predict its developments is almost impossible, but Goel is adamant that social media will continue to grow.
"Social media is still growing. In 2011, we were a team of about five to seven, and now we are 26. So we've been adding to the team almost every month. And I'm sure there are many other agencies now, like us, who have sprung up, as there is a big demand for social media.
"It is still looking strong, definitely. I think a lot of companies are now doing it in-house rather than looking at agencies for it. And companies are starting to understand that social media doesn't just mean having a Facebook page; it's too agnostic, it's all about our mindset."