Business: 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. However seeing their media and reputational impact, are using them as communication platforms with their customers. Moreover, in this post, we explain the most critical issues you must consider when working with social networks in companies.
Companies’ adoption of social networks has gone from having a merely symbolic character to becoming an 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.
The Impact Of Social Media On Business
A recent study published in the United States reveals very shocking conclusions concerning the use of social networks. And although the investigation is done in the northern country, its data can be perfectly extrapolated to the rest of the Western countries. Some examples of their conclusions are:
- 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, achieved 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
Companies’ strategies to use social networks can be divided into three groups, depending on their focus, complexity, and purpose.
1. Brand Strategy
First of all, the most basic approach to managing social networks from a business perspective consists of establishing policies, guidelines, and controls that regulate employees’ use of social networks in the communication of corporate information. In this way, we preserve the company’s image and avoid negative reputational impacts derived 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 communication channel with customers. Many companies have opted for this approach for several years from this perspective. The first services were led by the areas of Human Resources, Communication, Marketing and Customer Service. They all shared tactical or operational approaches such as the search for talent, internal information, client relationship, corporate communication, and product marketing.
3. Innovative Strategy
Finally, a much more complex and innovative approach provides more excellent value for using social networks in companies. It arises from the combination of “Big Data”, predictive analytics, and companies’ digital transformation trends. 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 unique benefits of a strategic nature.
Based on the fact that social networks are possibly the largest sources of social “Big Data” in the world, it could be said that they have become the primary source for predictive analysis of social behaviour and trends. The use that can be made of these analyzes is unlimited, from market research and development of new products to business risk assessment and anticipation of new threats based on cyber intelligence services.
Advantages Of Social Networks At The Business Level
From the previous observations. However the essential benefits obtained by using social networks in companies can be extracted.
1. Know the public
The ability to analyze, filter and segment information is practically absolute. It is possible to determine where exactly the company’s target operates precisely, what types of groups use its products and services, the clients’ age, 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. However the company can create and distribute the content that certain types of audiences demand. The contents, in turn, can be shared, which increases web traffic.
3. Information in real-time
A key aspect increasingly sought after by companies is real-time interaction with users. Moreover social networks are environments designed and developed to favour communication and instantly exchange information.
4. Better customer service
Through social networks, many opinions and moods of users can be perceive and analyze. However 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 with information that improves the consumption experience of certain products and services. This can be done in various ways. For example, we are guiding 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. At the moment, it points more to the quality than to the quantity. Algorithms no longer only evaluate traffic to the web and how it is generate. However and what users do within the website. Social networks are a good source of traffic because they are searches that reflect real user concerns.
6. Know the competition better
Moreover in social networks, everything is visualize and experience in real-time; the effects of any action can be analyze immediately. Thus, we can perfectly see the reactions that other companies of the competition cause in the audiences with their initiatives. In this way, the use of social networks in companies has become an actual observatory of competitors. However, this competition observation allows companies to react to movements and even anticipate them.
Moreover social networks are a whole new world that moves at high speed. They provide companies with ways of relating to the public that, until now, they could not even imagine.