How Social Media Can Help Business, PR, and Marketing from Local Small Businesses to the Fortune 500 Corporations
Social media can enhance your business productivity by providing great tools for business collaboration and professional organization. Social bookmarking tools like delicious is your version of the web organized, Facebook is a rolodex on steroids, and wikis and blogs are like virtual notebooks that can be sorted and re-sorted in a seemingly infinite number of ways.
Another benefit of social media for corporations is that it is a virtual marketing research on your customers. While a marketing focus group can cost $1000 to $2000 per event, for a relatively low cost companies can get very comparatively precise data about what their potential customers are thinking and searching for. Additionally, they can find out what their customers are doing on their websites. Why are so many customers clicking away here? Why are we losing customers on our e-commerce site? How can we make our site sticky so? How are our competition beating us?
One of the benefits of social media is the low cost and risk. Most companies can get started in social media for $1000 to $5000, which is very reasonable considering the price of just a month of pr, marketing, or advertising. Social media is a affordable, low cost communications solution for business.
Social media also provides search engine optimization and marketing benefits. Social media communities leverage the network effect of the web. Think to yourself: How do you get information? Most people these days get their information two ways on the web: first via search and second via recommendations from friends or trusted associates.
What are the risks associated with social media for business? Well you and your organization will probably have to learn to be more transparent. Increasing transparency is expected online, but will ultimately help you build better relationships with your customers and help facilitate creating a community around your product or service.
Is Your Business or Nonprofit Organization Ready for Social Media?
Consider these questions from Business Week:
1. Are you actively listening to your customers in the places they frequent online?
2. Are you launching initiatives that can be easily updated? Are you enabling a “culture of rapid response?”
3. Are you evaluating current processes and updating them as needed?
4. Are you building a culture in which “failure” is acceptable?
5. Are you allowing your teams to create “pilots” prior to scrutinizing them through traditional ROI exercises?
6. Are you planning initiatives that will help your organization learn prior to backing major marketing campaigns?
7. Are you synthesizing qualitative insights in addition to analyzing hard data points?
8. Are you tweaking your strategy along the way—and adapting where change may be needed?
9. Are you empowering all members of your teams to think and act like “digital anthropologists?”
10. Are you evolving the tools and methods to measure success (i.e. going beyond clicks and impressions)?
Social Media for Business Tools and Resources:
Creative Fusion Media provides copy writing and social media in Nashville