Social Media in Business
The realm of social media is abysmal and it has become so in just half a decade. Its amazing how adopters did not take much time to familiarize themselves with the ergonomics of social media. The increasing attractiveness of online services generated and driven by online users viz., Wikipedia, MySpace, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and numerous others has accelerated the growth of a revolutionary technology concept called Web2.0. This concept is based on contributions and relationships with users by way of blogs, social networking, podcasts, web services, bulletin boards etc.
Corporates too have hit upon this realm and are rapidly joining the bandwagon. As Jeff Jarvis, the person behind the book “What Would Google Do?” claims, “We are entering an age of publicness when more and more we will live, do business, and govern in the open. Some see danger there. I see opportunity.” Generating traffic of more than 100 million users, these social media sites are goldmines from which lot of biggies have struck gold. Dell recently announced that it earned $3 million by way of Twitter.
Organizations derive multiple benefits out of these tools, some of which are:
- Acquiring better options to tap market opportunities
- Reinforcing their built-in capabilities due to better collaboration and communication
- Internal knowledge management via tools like RSS, collective intelligence, Web services, peer-to-peer networking etc.
- An efficient way of conducting market research
Some social media trends to watch
- Early corporate adopters have been very satisfied with the results they achieved vis-à-vis ones who embraced this technology a little late. These swift followers will increase investments in future too.
- Time spent and not the number of users. Simply said, in web jargon – the web metric that will be a true unit of web traffic measurement will not be ‘eyeballs’ but ‘engagement.’
- Web services and peer-to-peer networking are the two most popular tools being invested in
- Social media is being used as a vehicle to connect and communicate with clients, business partners, customers and suppliers to promote team work within and outside the company
- Blogs are fast catching up as they help boost customer service and invite inputs and feedback from customers
Businesses are becoming more and more transparent today and are eager to strap up social media internally by researching and testing various online tools or setting them up as tryouts. A lot of companies have used it well in the past like Oracle, Skittles, Starbucks, and Comcast to name a few.
Making it work for your organization
The social media landscape is limitless and companies can do a lot to explore it. Some tried and tested techniques that can help Web 2.0, work for organizations are:
- Companies while building social media models for their organizations must not only focus on building but also nurturing such models with leadership. Usually, companies just build and forget.
- Include social media in your complete marketing strategy. It is an element in itself like any other element of your marketing plan like print advertising. Through this element you can communicate your organization’s message.
- Converse with your audience through social media, get feedbacks. Let them know about your upcoming products and services and invite opinions about these.
- Create valuable and stimulating content that can be used for more than a single purpose, could be a journal, newsletter or a whitepaper.
- Target those users who help develop a significant group for participation. Often fast followers of technology are very useful in driving a successful social media effort because of their huge networks. Tap such users.
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