Business Areas Suited for Social Media
When Facebook started, it was no more than a small network limited to Ivy League students. Now, more than a decade old, Facebook has become an identity management resource for more than one billion people around the world.
Facebook is a platform that enables consumers to discover new content, stay in touch with loved ones, and express themselves. Brands caught up quickly and saw the opportunity for business, venturing into this ecosystem and jumping into conversations at opportune moments.
That the social media giant generates billions of dollars in ad revenue only means that consumers are indeed listening to what brands are saying. Yet, some leaders still remain skeptical about whether social media is measurable. There are even marketers who have tried to quantify the value of a social media status update or tweet.
While well-intentioned, these views will often put marketing teams in a social media trap. It’s easy to overlook social media’s core asset - ROI driven by genuine, human relationships - in seeking sales and revenues. Here are three strategic ideas to guide you through creating an effective social media plan for your organization:
1. Use social media to improve cross-department collaboration.
Because people are swamped with heavy workloads, it’s difficult to take breaks to get to know colleagues, especially those on different teams, not to mention those with remote work settings. Use social media to help your team stay connected by creating Facebook groups, following similar Twitter feeds, or integrating your LinkedIn profiles with an internal communication platform. The key is for your organization to have a forum for sharing ideas, expressing your values, and uniting around a shared goal.
2. Monitor customer conversations across different social networks.
Social media gives brands direct access to their customers’ conversations. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter make it easy for you to see what people are saying about your brand - both directly and indirectly. Aside from broadcasting your messages, you can also actively listen for brand mentions across different social networks to ensure that your brand can deliver upon its unique value.
Get everyone involved, depending on your customer’s needs - from sales to product development and marketing. It’s also critical to let all organizational functions have a pulse on your audience’s core needs and values for multiple perspectives. The more you listen, the more connected you are to your customers, the better product, marketing, sales strategy you’ll be able to build.
3. Create behavioral targeting mechanisms.
Today, companies are collecting large amounts of data to better understand user behavior online. For example, a brand can analyze its most valuable customers by traffic source. Use analytics to conduct broad global listening and supply this information back into your reporting. There are tools that make it possible to monitor millions of data sources through automated notifications that show spikes in sentiment, mentions, and global trends. Social data can be integrated directly into your Google Analytics and Facebook Insights accounts, which makes it possible to track end-to-end conversations. Teams can combine full customer journeys, track conversations both on and offline, and analyze geographic differences.
Businesses need to be social at multiple touch points, internally and externally. What you need to do is to look for areas within your organization where you think social media can bring new opportunities for growth, collaboration, and direct consumer relations. Where your business is already strong will be your biggest ROI drivers.