The initial skepticism from companies about social media is being replaced by an unbounded enthusiasm. The presence on blogs, wikis and social networks has become a sign of prestige and modernity. However, we must not forget that social media is just a tool. Behind our Internet marketing strategy we must have a product and a service of quality.

The enthusiasm for social media is somewhat similar to what is happening with presentations, where the focus is shifting increasingly towards the design of slides and moving away from the essential: the speaker.

Recently, I attended a conference in which one of the speakers was a technology consultant who had designed a spectacular presentation with SlideRocket. I do not remember anything he said. Later, it was the turn to the CEO of a technology center. He only had three bad designed PowerPoint slides. However, his presentation was great. I still keep my notes.

In the same way that a few spectacular slides will not improve a dreadful presentation, social media presence will not improve an awful product and service. It may attract our attention at first, but without something real to build on, social media is useless.

At the same time, sometimes we find the opposite. There are well-managed companies with an excellent product and service that, however, do not exploit social media to increase the impact and extent of their trade promotion. Today, it is not enough to be the best. We need to be considered the best. And for that, social media can be a great ally.

Let’s see an example as a basis to analyze how social media can help to promote our business.

Establiments Viena is a chain of restaurants located in Spain. Their flagship products are the sandwiches, but they also have a good range of salads, drinks and pastry.

The décor of Viena is remarkable. As well as being located in beautiful buildings, the interior of the restaurants looks inspired by the typical German pub. Inside, there are posters with appealing pictures of the menu. Viena makes its own sausages, sauces and bread in their headquarters, where schools can make visits and children learn the basics of a healthy eating. In addition, they collaborate with social and cultural initiatives.

How can social media help to promote all these elements?

First, it is clear the benefit that it could be obtained from Pinterest. Pinterest would be the ideal place to post photos of the establishments. They are full of details to photograph and share with the community. Similarly, Viena has great pictures of their products, so it would be only a matter of exposing them.

Since they make their own sausages, sauces and bread at their headquarters, why not uploading videos on a YouTube channel showing how the whole process works? They could even show the producers, being a way to help them to promote their products.

If Viena teaches children healthy eating, they could make short videos to show and extend this valuable knowledge. Exposing this information, they would not only increase the interest of schools to visit their headquarters, but they could also be positioned as a reference in this field.

Regarding the social and cultural initiatives, there is a perfect place to display this information: Facebook. Similarly, employees may collaborate with their own photos and experiences thereby transferring to the digital world the warmth that exists in the real world.

Obviously, Twitter would be the ideal channel to report on the new products, establishments and other news published on their website or on YouTube. Twitter can be also a great tool to attend to customers enquiries.

These are just some examples of how social media can help a company. Social media will not make our products and services better, but if we’re great, why not share it with others?