There is no doubt that social media in its many forms is a key part of our daily lives. But how can it be utilised form a business perspective?ListenAll customer bases have a voice, and with social media you are able to listen to these conversations. Through this dialogue, you can determine the key decision makers.DiscussBy engaging in conversation with these decision makers, you are able to have an influence on their future purchases and choices.Place a spotlight on your brandThere is the potential to use these platforms to drive brand awareness in relevant places and to the right people.Help othersThere are a multitude of people out there with problems – and your company could have the answer. Social media is a great way to connect with a knowledge base and provide solutions to customers or potential customers.RevolutioniseSocial media is a great tool for identifying gaps in the market; listen to what people want and then see if you are able to provide that product or service.AnalyseRetweets, likes, replies – they are all a measure of how much impact your brand and content are having in the online world. Social media allows for the simple measurement of this data, so you can decide what is making an impression, and what’s not.But how do you get started?There is no way to gain a thousand likes/followers/friends overnight. The truth is, the only way to start is at the beginning.It’s likely that there is someone in your business who is already social media savvy. Empower this person to start a dialogue about your brand – open a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube account (to start with) and broadcast all of your business’ achievements and helpful consumer content. The aim here is not to sell your products, but to show the online world what your business is all about. From here, you can determine a social media plan, measure your successes, venture into new ideas and social media settings. The sky is the limit.