From the appearance of the first social networks to the present day, more than a billion people worldwide have become regular users. The effectiveness of social networks in reaching people has not gone unnoticed by companies that, seeing their media and reputational impact, are using them as communication platforms with their customers.
Companies’ adoption of social networks has gone from having a merely symbolic character to becoming an absolutely essential and mandatory strategy. Companies concerned about their evolution and survival in today’s digital transformation contexts must learn to use them and take them very seriously.
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The impact of social media on business
40% of SMEs have increased word-of-mouth recommendations, thanks to social networks.
1 in 3 consumers consider social networks to be an effective means of discovering interesting new products and services
Pinterest (a network of images and photographs) generates twice as much referential traffic ( referral that is achiev by a link from another page) than Google, Twitter and Linkedin together
Instagram has already reached 200 million users worldwide
49% of Facebook users use this network to search for new products and services
34% of technology companies have reduced their budget allocations for conventional marketing to increase Social Media and online marketing
Pinterest is the primary source of inspiration when looking for gifts or ideas to buy
75% of marketers show an increase in website traffic after spending 6 hours a week on social media
YouTube has more 18-24-year-olds than any cable TV network
78% of marketers believe that the future of their work lies in personalized content.
Strategies for using social media in business
The strategies companies use to use social networks can be divided into three groups, depending on their focus, complexity and purpose.
1. Brand Strategy
First, the most basic approach to managing social networks from a business perspective consists of establishing policies, guidelines and controls that regulate the use that employees make of social networks in the communication of corporate information. In this way, we preserve the company’s image and avoid negative reputational impacts from unfortunate comments.
2. Communication with the client through social networks
It consists of adapting and extending business services to social networks, considering them as another channel of customer communication. From this perspective, many companies have opted for this approach for several years. The first services were Human Resources, Communication, Marketing and Customer Service. All of them share tactical or operational procedures such as the search for talent, sharing internal information, the relationship with the client, corporate communication and product marketing.
3. Innovative Strategy
Finally, a much more complex and innovative approach provides excellent value for using social networks in companies. It arises from the combination of “Big Data”, predictive analytics and the digital transformation trends of companies. In this sense, the interest of companies in adapting their products and services to new customer needs has meant that the business use of social networks opens the door to further benefits of a strategic nature.
Advantages of social networks at the business level
From the previous observations, the essential benefits that can obtain by using social networks in companies can extract.
1. Know the public
The ability to analyze, filter and segment information is practically absolute. It is possible to determine in an exact way where exactly the company’s target operates, what types of groups use its products and services, the age of the clients, their gender and their time habits. Trying to get this information outside of social networks is practically impossible.
2. Increase web traffic
With the knowledge derived from social networks, the company can create and distribute the content that certain types of audiences demand.
3. Information in real-time
A key aspect increasingly sought after by companies is real-time interaction with users. Social networks are environments designed and developed to favour communication and information exchange instantly.
4. Better customer service
Many users’ opinions and moods can be apparent and analyzed through social networks. Corporations often use criticism of products or services to interact with the protagonists publicly and rectify errors.
Many social networks are also use to feed users information that improves the consumption experience of certain products and services. This can done in various ways. For example, you guide them in their use, broadening the horizons of their applications or directly attending to their queries and concerns.
5. Improve the positioning of the corporate website
SEO positioning criteria are evolving. Nowadays, quality is more than quantity. Algorithms no longer only evaluate traffic to the web but also how it made and what users do within the website. Social networks are a respectable source of traffic because they are searches that reflect real user concerns.
6. Know the competition better
As in social networks, everything is visualized and experienced in real-time, and any action’s effects can be analyzed immediately. Thus, we can see the reactions other companies of the competition cause in the audiences with their initiatives. In this way, using social networks in companies has become an accurate observatory of competitors. This competition observation allows companies to react to movements and even anticipate them.
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