Social Media doesn’t have to be just about status updates, mobile check-ins and what you’re having for lunch. It’s definitely much more than the number of Fans or Followers you have.
Broadcasting can work when done in the right way, but engagement is better. Automation has benefits, but personal engagement is best. There are as many ways to use Social Media as there are Social Platforms. Here are 10 for you to try:
Not found a way to justify Google+? Then try collaboration with colleagues or clients. Hidden away in Google+ Hangouts, the video conferencing application built into the platform, is Hangouts with Extras. This section of the application allows you to combine video conferencing with Google documents, Screensharing or a Sketchpad. You can even record your sessions to share at a later date.
2. Customer Care
Phone support is time consuming and costly, you customer service team can only deal with one call at a time. Outsourcing leads to a reduced quality of care. Social Media, specifically Twitter, can offer a great additional channel to support your clients. BT took this a stage further with a dedicated Twitter account @BTCare. Note the names of those supporting clients is given in the profile to make it even more personal.
3. Product Research
Not sure if a new product idea is right for your market? Or do you need feedback to make improvements to an existing product? Why not ask your customers what they think. In the blog post below regional brewer Adnams asked customers whether they would drink a reduced alcohol beer. The question was prompted due to a reduction in duty on lower alcohol products in the UK. Feedback was positive enough to lead to the production of a new product 4 months later, which went on to sell successfully.
4. Monitoring the Market
You don’t need to actively take part in Social Media to make use of it. There are many tools available that let you track conversations within the social space. Whether you want to do competitor research, monitor brand mentions or track sentiment. Applications such as socialmention can help you stay in-touch with your market-place.
5. Build Authority
This is especially important if you are relatively unknown or just starting out in business. How do you establish yourself in the market? A great way is to be vocal, engage and share information pertaining to your market sector readily. Gary Vaynerchuck is probably the best example of someone who has built authority through the social space, initially for his wine business, which then lead to him forming his own media company and writing two books. Gary’s persistent and engaging attitude has earn him over 900k followers on Twitter and worldwide acclaim for what he has achieved from a humble base.
Promoting events in the social space is one of the most under-utilised uses of Social Media. Facebook for example allows you to easily create an event, inform all your fans about it and see who is going to attend or not.
7. Product Demos
YouTube is much more than roller-skating babies and surfing dogs, it’s a free resource that can easily be leveraged to promote your products or services. When done in an interesting way even the most standard of products can become a viral sensation. Blendtec were prepared to demonstrate how their blender with blend virtual any object. The result was phenomenal, with the video of an iPhone being blended now having been viewed over 10 million times.
8. Lead Generation
Oh yes, social media does work for business generation, it’s not all about viral videos and market research. A recent study by Hubspot of over 5,000 of it’s customers showed that on average just under 3% of visits to a business website originating from LinkedIn converted to leads.
9. Target Marketing
One of the great byproducts of social media is the availability of user data. Much of this is freely available allowing you accurately target groups of people, even individuals with your marketing messages. From Facebook Ads through to free tools like followerwonk you can ensure that your marketing efforts and spend are never wasted.
10. Sell Products
Who said you can’t sell products via Twitter? With the right approach it can be a very effective channel to promote certain types of product and service. Dell use Twitter very effectively to sell through their refurbished equipment, notice however that they still engage readily with followers, it’s not all just broadcasting.
Bonus – Social Search
If you still can’t find a use for Social Media within your business then it is well worth having in mind the “Social Search” effect. Google has been using social activity from as early as 2009 to effect the results you see when you perform a search. Now with the advent of Google+ it is even more relevant. If you have a presence on Google+, with solid, engaging content, that is readily shared, you can leapfrog the natural and paid results.
Have you got any other uses for Social Media?