About 10 years ago, social media arrived on the business scene. Today some adopters spend tens of millions of dollars on social media strategies while others commit relatively small amounts of cash to simply establish a social presence on the web. But even now, some businesses remain on the sidelines trying to make sense of it all.
Although it’s true that the social media scene can seem light and entertaining, and on occasion, somewhat tumultuous or disorderly, adopters can capture economic value from social platform investments. So before you decide to remain on the sidelines, consider these 10 ways that social media might improve your company’s performance.
1. Employee recruitment:
Social media is a low-cost tool that four out of five Americans use each month to communicate with other people and organizations. In particular, companies can use social platforms to publish job listings, correspond with candidates and complete applicant background checks. Also, organizations can monitor social feedback to estimate the success of recruiting programs.
2. Market research:
Organizations employ social media platforms to learn about consumer lifestyles and opinions, pro and con, which influence their purchases says Stephen Rappaport, author of Listen First: Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage. Based on its findings, a company can create a target market profile on which to base a marketing strategy.
3. Competitive advantage:
Social media channels allow organizations to monitor competitor marketing messages and possibly achieve a competitive advantage by interacting with suppliers, customers and investors. An organization can use competitor messages that relate to marketing initiatives, including new store locations, pricing strategies or products, to formulate its own marketing strategy and tactics. Due to the relative cost effectiveness of this approach, a company may achieve a cost advantage.
4. Customer base:
An organization can transmit marketing messages and relay positive feedback to millions of existing and potential customers and clients over social media platforms. Also, for-profits can reinforce print or broadcast advertisements and convert third-party endorsements to purchases using social platforms.
5. Marketing campaign:
With social platforms, companies can market products directly to customers. Also, messages that are originally transmitted using print media, such as press releases or advertising campaigns, can be reinforced with social campaigns.
6. Cost control:
To preserve company profits, leaders must control costs regardless of the business model they adopt. One way they check expenses is to switch to low-cost alternatives if the change has little if any effect on operations. For example, a business might provide customer service or market its products using a low-cost social media channel rather than the higher-cost television broadcasts.
7. Customer relationship management:
Social media programs support real-time interaction between a company and its stakeholders. A business can use these connections to address product issues or provide information regarding its brand. What’s more, a company can monitor social media channels and quickly post a response to comments, which can strengthen the company-customer relationship. The stronger the relationship, the more positive the effect on product reputations and customer satisfaction, as well as sales quantity and revenue.
8. Public relations:
A company can use Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms to transmit corporate news to a selected audience. Investor relations, for instance, can use social media channels to engage a particular audience and control the negative effects of bad press that can quickly “go viral” on the Internet.
9. Sales campaign:
A company’s conversion rate refers to the percentage of sales leads that become buying customers. By increasing your conversion rate, you generate a higher sales volume. The addition of social media functions to corporate websites is effective in offering customers the option to demo a product; conveying a company’s value proposition; and providing free and useful information that may solve customer problems. Also, companies may increase sales by allowing customers to post product ratings on social platforms that might persuade others to purchase the company’s products or services.
10. Customer retention:
The number of a brand’s followers that eventually purchase products depends in part on the company’s ability to use social platforms to communicate its brand values and create positive word of mouth. Social interaction such as this generates strong connections between a company and its customers and contributes to customer loyalty.
Social media platforms have altered the way business employees and consumers interact and conduct essential business processes. For instance, employees rely on social platforms to conduct market research and resolve customer issues, each of which can positively influence customer retention and acquisition efforts. In turn, existing and potential customers can use social platforms to make purchases, offer product testimonials and obtain help in resolving issues with a product or service.