The team at North social breaks out 9 ways that brands could be using social media, but probably aren't. A good read for anyone wondering how the world of social media might have an impact on their business.
Nine ways your business could be using social media, but probably isnt. 2009 north venture partners, llc | www.dontgosouth.com | www.northsocial.com
social media isnt just for interns For companies, resistance to social media is futile. Millions of people are creating content for the social web. Your competitors are already there. Your customers The emergence of a powerful new This just in, consumers are now have been there for a communication platform that reaches well spending more time on social long time. over 300 million consumers is nothing short networks than any other form of of remarkable, but it also might not be the website, including porn. If your business isn't best time to hand over the keys to an intern putting itself out there, it to drive the conversation. Sure, these new To make the most of this newly emerging ought to be. platforms are the playground for the young opportunity to connect with your consumer, and connected, but the user profile of most to shape your brand, and develop long-term social networks is older than you might customer relationships at a fraction of think, and its climbing quickly. above the line media costs, this BusinessWeek, 2009 opportunity simply cant be squandered. 2
setting up an account is not a strategy While the simplicity of social platforms can media might just be an express ticket to Take a quick inventory of how you are enable rapid growth, it can also create a nowhere. leveraging social media today: false sense of accomplishment for those who dont create a focused plan to leverage o Public Relations the power of these platforms for real Regardless of whether you have o Customer Support one or one million friends, o Market Research business goals. Now is the time to take a o Brand Marketing followers, or fans there are moment and think about your overall o Promotions business strategy and what role social media multiple ways your business o Consumer Education could benefit from a more o Sales might play in hitting your objectives. The proactive social media strategy. o Product Development bad news, if you dont currently know o Customer Relationship Management where your business is heading, than social 3
1. public relations Social media platforms touch well over 350 messages about you, your company, your How the various platforms are employed to million people world wide every single day. brand, or your entire industry. shape the public perception, and to impact These platforms represents one of the most traditional media channels is part art, part direct and immediate channels into the science. Crafting compelling messages, and hearts and minds of consumers, voters, and Social media platforms present a embracing transparency are the foundation completely new opportunity to the public media. For certain brands this for success. instantly deliver messages to platform can be a direct communication platform that enables brands to find millions of people. The impact on public relations is simply supporters and evangelists (by filtering ground shaking. through organic posts) as well as identify dissenters, opposing threats and negative 4
2. customer support For a huge number of businesses there is a Where traditionally customer also feel more connected to a larger pool of hidden cost that is rarely discovered until support has been viewed as a consumers who also use the same product after its too late in the game. Long after the cost center, smart brands are or service. Its hard to argue with a potential sale is made, this hidden problem can grow starting to use social networks to win/win scenario. into a huge drain on profitability in the form help offload their support costs of customer support costs. Good customer on to a community of super service is essential to maintaining a positive users. brand image, and it is a key strategy to eliminate product returns. The net effect of this strategy is often two fold. Consumers get the support they need (at virtually no cost to the brand) and they 5
3. market research The value of good information is hard to Having access to tens of for gathering information. Sure, youll still measure. Launching new brands, millions of consumers who are need some sharp minds and effective tools developing new products, and effectively openly talking about their to filter through all the garbage, but there is targeting a new pool of consumers requires rational and emotional needs is a a reason commercial fisherman use a net knowledge that simply doesnt exist inside newly discovered goldmine for instead of a hook. If you are thinking about the four walls of your company. market research. changing directions, launching a new brand Traditionally brands seeking market campaign, or just itching to know what research have had to rely on expensive consumers are thinking about your business, Real time analysis of consumer trends, firms who pool consumer opinions, virtual focus groups, and other insightful product, or brand, the answers are closer feedback, and insights into structured interactions are all made possible at a than you think. presentations that cost both time and money. fraction of the cost of traditional methods 6
4. brand marketing While this may be one of the most common platforms from Facebook to the iPhone. While the sheer size of this new channel ways that brands are currently using social Each application provides some utility for (and half a dozen triple lattes) can often get networks, there are clearly those that get it the customer, from store locators, to pre- brands so excited that they cant help but and those who dont. The key difference ordering your specially customized drink shout about their product, the real value is in comes from playing a behavior-supporting before you even get in line. the meaningful relationship that you can role in the life of