Social Media can be incorporated into a variety of different business functions – in fact it’s versatile enough to be used as a tool across ALL business functions.
Social Media can be used as a Tool for:
• Customer Service
• Market Research
• Target Marketing
Social Media as a Customer Service Tool
Customers like to ask questions on Social Media about your company products, opening hours and even to complain. Their questions and complaints are public and this may scare some businesses – the key is to deal with all customer service issues promptly.
Turn any negative feedback into positive by resolving issues swiftly and demonstrating your ability to make improvements to your company. As a small business you have the advantage over larger competitors who struggle to deal with individual issues.
Social Media as a Market Research Tool
Ask questions and run polls on Social Media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google + are all good platforms to gather market research. If you want to know what your customer wants – ask them and use Social Media as a tool to gather important statistics and opinions.
Ask your followers on Social Media their opinions on new products/services to meet their tastes and preferences. Involve your customers at R&D stages in a process called CO-CREATION.
Social Media as a Networking Tool
Use Social Media to network with peers and industry leaders to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your field.
Connect with people on Social Media before meeting them, I find this helps to break the ice a little as you know a little about the person before meeting them.
Network internationally too, you’ll enrich your own learning experience by understanding a variety of views, experiences and opinions from a variety of cultures and people.
Social Media as an HR Tool
Do your homework on Social Media to analyse potential employees – their Social Media profiles and activities often reveal more in depth information about people than a simple CV.
Create closed groups for your employees and use Social Media as a tool for internal communications. Gather feedback from your staff on new products/services and listen to their opinions on the strengths & weaknesses of your business.
Social Media as a Targeting Tool
Identify prospects and customers using the variety of search functions on each Social Media Platform. In particular the search bar on Facebook can be used to identify and target potential customers based on a wide range of variables.
Target people and companies based on your existing customer base.
Target based on Location, Demographics and Lifestyles.
Social Media as a Sales Tool
Selling is the primary objective of any business but on Social Media it should be the last in a series of stages. Always remember that people are on SOCIAL media for SOCIAL reasons and this should be respected.
Post new products/services, special offers and discounts on Social Media but limit this to around 20% of your overall posts. Try to understand the demographics of the users on each Social Media platform and tailor your messages to suit each audience.
Have I missed out any business functions? How do you use Social Media?