Apart from the obvious promotional advantages that social media offers, there are also a lot of ways it can be used in business beyond promotion. Some of these are covered below:
For Customer Service
In a second-quarter 2016 review by social sprout, 90% of consumers surveyed say they use social media to communicate with their favourite brands. Not only that, about 35% of them prefer communicating via social media, compared to other traditional communication means like telephone and email. This means that if you have not been using social media as a tool for communicating with your customers, you are in effect not building the type of relationship they want.
Social media makes it possible for you to interact with your customers, solve problems, appreciate loyalty, and do a lot of other things you may not be able to do over the phone or via email. It also provides the opportunity for you to gather valuable intelligence through feedback, opinions, and reviews. This will help you create better products, better services, and better engagements.
If you eventually integrate social media into your customer service platform, ensure that you are always available to respond. Failing to do so may result in loss of reputation and loss of business. On the other hand, customers are willing to spend 20 times more when they experience excellent customer service on social media.
Before the advent of social media, you needed to run an ad in a magazine or newspaper before you could find viable candidates for an open position. Sometimes, you could get recommendations from partners and colleagues in the industry, or even family and friends. For business owners who used this system, they will agree that not only was it slow, but, in most cases, they were not able to get the ideal candidate from the small pool of applicants that the ad was able to reach.
All that is in the past, today social media has made it possible for businesses to reach a wide range of viable candidates for job openings. Not only is the system faster and more effective, but it is also absurdly inexpensive.
All the available social media platforms have millions of active users; this is a considerable source of prospective talent for your business.
The obvious route is LinkedIn, which is the go-to platform for business professionals, and even job seekers. However, you may have to pay a small fee to have your job ads displayed. But, if budget is a problem, there is always Facebook and Twitter, two social media giants that account for a large number of total social media users. Using a relevant hashtag will help drive your vacancy post, and ensure that it gets to the right people.
For Strategic Partnerships
The term “no man is an island” is now so old that no one can tell who originally coined it anymore, but that does not make it any less true or relevant. In business especially, sometimes it takes strategic partnerships to survive the competition. But, where does social media come in?
Social media provides the platform to search for, and connect with, like-minded businesses. These are businesses that you may not be able to see or engage with physically. Fortunately, social media has managed to break down a lot of barriers, both physical and cultural.
LinkedIn is the obvious choice for running a search like this, as you will find millions of similar businesses there. Facebook and Twitter also have industry-specific groups, where you can find businesses to connect with. Once you have joined a group, you can start by contributing to comments, discussion, and decisions. After you have proved your authority in your field, you may even have other businesses coming to form partnerships with you. Social media is the best platform for finding and securing the type of strategic partnership or influencer relationship, which will help your business grow. When you begin to share ideas and resources, you will find that doors start to open to more prospects and opportunities.