Social Media : real added value?

Posted by | September 22, 2011 | Other Blog Posts | No Comments

So you’ve heard about the supposed power of having a strong social media footprint but you are still skeptical about its real worth.  Some will just think its the new management buzz topic, others perhaps nothing more than a lot of noise and distraction.

However, just a couple of years down the line, this medium is proving itself to be of real added value to any business or service organisation.  It’s definitely “coming of age” and to help demystify the school of added value, here’s a few simple highlights of what it could do for you if only you’d take the plunge (thanks must go to the plethora of social media activists in the arena, from which this amalgamated list has been compiled):

1. Visibility: Engaging in social media and blogging on a steady basis helps to achieve constant visibility with your audience. By participating in conversations, sharing daily food for thought, and making your product or service part of their day, you remain front of their consciousness when someone is looking for social media assistance. Don’t discount the real power of that – of using this medium to help build a visible brand.

2. Branding yourself as a resource: “Being visible and sharing content – it’s a waste of time! Why bother doing it?” I hear you still say, well, because by doing it you establish yourself as a vital and reachable resource. You become the “go-to” person for that topic and the voice that people trust in your industry. That’s how you brand yourself as an expert in your area and make your company the one that others seek out and turn to. Usually, we trust those we know and those we see others trusting.  It’s a powerful position to hold.

3. Building a community: By making yourself available and accessible, reaching out to customers and sharing information, you strengthen your community. You form new connections, allow community members to meet one another, and create a deeper and richer dialogue by increasing the number of voices.

4. Decreasing time to conversion: Do you know what happens when someone from social media lands on your site to make an enquiry? They do it faster because they need little up front convincing, less hand-holding and less actual talking to you. They feel that way because they feel they already know you. They read your blog, follow you on Twitter, get your deals via Facebook. You’re far from being a stranger because they already have a daily relationship with you – someone they trust and feel comfortable doing business with.

5. Focussing on your product or service: Social media offers an additional avenue to show off and talk about your offering in a friendly and informal way. You get to highlight what your wares without coming across “salesy” or too promotional. You also have the opportunity to answer questions, show features and offer “how-to’s” to help people get to know you a little better.

6. Finding new opportunities: New client referrals and leads will follow as a result of your social media presence. People will contact you for services or to partner on something because they like what we’re doing on Twitter or because they read one of your blog posts and it resonated with them.  Make yourself part of the conversation …and people definitely notice.

7. Hanging in with other influencers: Social media lets you be friends with the people your customers most look up to, helping to increase your own authoritativeness by association. You look and feel familiar to the world they know and love.

8. Telling your company’s story: For decades now we’ve known that people like to conduct business with companies they already know. We like being introduced to the voices behind the logo because it helps us to feel a part of that family. By telling your company’s story in a way that resonates quickly, and sharing that with users, you create a personal feeling which allows people to want to invest in your success.

9. Being a mentor: You’re not the only one using social media to network and meet people. So are others. Lots of others! And sometimes, you’re the person they’re trying to meet and the person they’re learning from.

10. Improving your writing skills: No joke! Want to be a better writer? Enter the world of social media. You’ll be forced to be inform, entertain and provide a call to action in just a hundred or so characters. It will be the best writing class you’ve ever had. And its free 🙂

11. Developing better ideas: Armed with blogs, forums and social discussions you’ll be able to get feedback on ideas before you spend any time and money actually developing them. You’ll see what works, what people hate and what they want more of, so you can produce more of what interests them and less of what puts them to sleep.  Fantastic ROI ratios!

12. Faster networking: Through Twitter, you can have a conversation with several people all before lunch (or breakfast even!), irrespective of their geographic location. You can’t buy that type of access for any money. Luckily, through social media, you don’t have to buy it, its relatively free!

13. Finding partners: An offshoot of “faster networking” is being able to find future partners, mentors or just really like-minded people to share resources with. Through social media and the world of blogging, you will be able to meet someone you eventually started a project with and countless others to collaborate with on other matters.

14. Get answers faster: Need help figuring out some things? Curious how to set up a custom Facebook landing page? When you get involved in social media, you build up a network of people who can help you answer these questions and point you to resources faster than you can find them yourself. They can even do things for you! Social media lets you do more, faster, and can soon become your best search engine, saving time, effort and money!

15. Create a unique reference resource: Every time someone tweets an article that you find extraordinarily useful, save it. It should go into a document for future use. The next time you are looking for a tutorial, some inspiration or a guide, pull it out and give it another look. Or share it with someone whom you think could benefit from it. This let’s you work faster and better, particularly when you are on the move.

16. Developing your company culture: A funny thing happens when your brand has to be social and talk to customers in real time and real everyday language. You’re forced to really pin down who you are and what you want your brand to be. Are you corporate? Are you super friendly? Are you funny? Are you helpful? Are you all about customer service? What makes you you? Who are you? You don’t know until you take the time to figure it out.

So Social Media has reached the age of consent. It can make its own decisions and forge its own path into the future.   Are there other ways to achieve some of these goals? Yes absolutely! But social media helps us tackle them more effectively, faster and very much more on the move than we’ve ever been able to.

How do you use social media? Do you want to do more to start seeing these benefits as soon as possible? Are you keen not to be left behind?

If so, get in touch today and Aresko’s Social Media arm will help you start, develop, or improve your social media journey fast. Don’t live live in the dark any longer!

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Sharon Davidson
Organisational development professional specialising in personal, team and whole organisation improvement. Full range of OD tools and techniques available including: Belbin team role analysis; learning style inventories; 360 degree feedback; cultural assessments; personality psychometrics; strategic planning and workshop facilitation. (This list is not exhaustive!)

Improvement is everyone's concern: +44 1550 720902 will start that process today.

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