**Print and broadcast used to dominate the media landscape but now, with the emergence of social networking sites, smart phones and new TV channels, traditional media is getting a real run for its money.** The younger generation simply doesn’t consume media in the traditional way and increasingly use social networking as their first port of call for information. So how do you harness the power of the internet and more specifically, the so-called social media, to assist your business?

Website

It is critical that your website is the best you can afford as it is now the centre point of any marketing strategy. You need to ask yourself five questions and if you can’t say yes to all of them, your website needs replacing: * Is it easy to read, reflective of your business and interesting? * Can it be found by search engines? * Is it simple to update by someone who isn’t a web designer? * Does it have a regularly updated news page? (i.e. on a daily basis) * Can it be viewed on an iPhone as easily as on a PC screen?

Social media

The plethora of sites now available for free – Twitter, Facebook, Linked-in, YouTube, Ecademy - are all ideal to achieve three things – (a) drive traffic to your website (b) enhance your positioning on search engines and (c) engage with your target audiences. Easy to update, informative, interactive and accessible, social networking sites are so much more of a business tool than many people first thought.

Photography

As with any other area of marketing and branding, images are key. Profile, or avatar, photos need to be professionally taken, your photo needs to stand out on websites even at low resolution and any images must be reflective of you, your corporate ethos and your company. It’s been said that a picture says a thousand words, but you need to make sure that your photo says the right thousand words. A shaky self-portrait taken with your mobile, that snapshot a friend grabbed the last time you went out together, or (heaven forbid!) your company ID badge photo just won’t do. You need a image that has been carefully considered, taken by an experienced photographer who knows how a) to find out just what you need from your photo and b) how to get the best out of you when you’re in front of that camera. Consider the following photos. The first is typical of the “I just need a quick photo, can you get me at my desk?” style of photograph. The impression it gives isn’t great, you’re missing an opportunity to influence your audience with an insightful photo. ![](/images/affiliates_2010media_1.jpg) ![](/images/affiliates_2010media_2.jpg) If you want to convey a more professional image, it’s time to move into the studio (or a flexible and versatile photographer can bring the studio to you). This results in images that convey confidence, reliability and competence - ideal for business communications. For advice on ‘fusion’ marketing, visit [www.2010media.co.uk](http://www.2010media.co.uk) or on social media photography visit [Charles Gervais](http://www.bothhemispheres.com) at [www.bothhemispheres.com](http://www.bothhemispheres.com). If your business is also looking for ways to refresh its foreign exchange arrangements, give Currency Solutions a call on +44(0) 207 7 4000 00 for bank-beating rates and a free quote.