Dec 19, 2011

How much use does your company make of social media in its business model and how much of a benefit do you see?

It is pretty much standard operating procedure for most businesses to have an online presence consisting of a company website and a presence on facebook.  But beyond that, does your company make use of social media as a tool to try to grow the business, and what have you found to be the most effective in terms of return on your investment in time and effort?

I think it can be a very effective tool for building and maintaining relationships with customers. But only if it's done right. Too many companies seem to think they can just set up a Facebook/LinkedIn/YouTube account and then sales will flow from that.

It takes time, effort and dedicated staffers to effectively manage relationships with customers via social media. And some companies just don't seem to understand that initially. Many learn as they go though and then figure things out after wasting a lot of time and money.

Hopefully we'll see companies become much savvier in their use of social media, including effective communication and relationship management strategies. The smart companies will achieve this and will profit from it. The dumb companies will struggle and probably never get much out of social media.

The classic foundation of social media marketing is facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, but of course you can pick a la cart from these, and there are plenty of other things you can do as well.  My company doesn't use twitter, but does make use of the other three.  There is a great benefit in making use of social media, it helps you maintain relationships with customers that already exist and allows you to market your company to new potential customers and develop leads.  You are able to connect with prospects in a way that otherwise would be impossible, and can develop a know, like and trust factor for your company.  It is much more effective that simple "post and look" advertising in my experience because it essentially allows ersatz conversations to occur between your business and customers/leads.   Social media marketing is probably the most cost effective method we have of increasing our profile, generating new customers, and maintaining relationships with existing customers.  Dollar for dollar, it has provided a much greater benefit than any billboard ever could.   

Answer this