Social media is an excellent platform for businesses to interact with customers, employees, candidates and prospects in real time. Companies use external media platforms to interact with customers, influence customer opinions, provide target offers, reinforce brand values and service the customer more effectively. In hiring, social platforms help in reaching out and engaging with prospective employees in a more systematic manner. A successful social media strategy is a growing necessity in the world of branding. Most brands have their official webpages advertised on popular social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.
There are about five secrets every company can follow for its success.
In social media, it is important to interact with customers and prospects in real-time but in order to create brand communities to facilitate these exchanges, the organization has to decide what is right. While Facebook and Twitter are the most used platforms, a comprehensive social media strategy should incorporate additional platforms like LinkedIn that helps in business networking and in hiring, industry-specific platforms like travel forums, special multimedia sharing sites like YouTube. These additional social media platforms are the places where customers, prospects, employees and candidates talk about the company.
It is necessary to establish a two-way communication model. Social media is meant to be helpful. It should help customers, clients and even competitors. But companies that use social media just to disseminate information to customers may not be as successful as those companies that use it as a two way communication medium. The two way communication methods could be posting questions and surveys related to the company as well as other general topics of interest. Requesting and getting customers, prospects and employees to share their queries and experiences regarding the company’s products. Setting up customer service pages and query pages with promise of prompt and quick response is another effective method.
One of the huge advantages of social media is that the content created there will pay dividends over time. Every blog post, photo, video and webinar made by the organization will continue to generate page views and awareness into the future. But at the same time, it is crucial to retain control of content being posted on behalf of the company. This is especially true of the companies that outsource their social media asset management to advertising partners. Under such circumstances the companies should retain complete editorial rights on what is being posted on their behalf.
It is crucial for companies embarking on social media initiatives to set targets, measure performance against the targets and then compare their performance against competitors. This can be done by sharing of social media conversations for the company as against the competitors. Positive and negative sentiments for the company as against competitors can be tracked. The monthly increase in the number of social media followers and the number of resumes being sourced on social media and the number of positions closed can be highlighted. Average time taken by social media users to respond to comments in the form of a positive feedback or customer service issue can be noted.
A company should never restrict itself only to a single social media or a single area. It can consider a minimum of 3 social media outposts with each one emphasising a different area every quarter. By doing so, it remains fresh for its fans as well as the internal team.
Companies that incorporate these strategies always reap the maximum benefits through social media initiatives. An overall increased followership on social media sites and increased brand share can be witnessed. It may not happen overnight but may happen with time. Improvements can be witnessed in the sales. Improved customer satisfaction can be achieved. Lastly, a large number of customers, prospects and candidates can be reached at a lower cost, marketing campaigns can be executed faster and hiring also becomes faster.