Social media is online community where people create personal profiles and share information with their friends and contacts (Extracted from a INN346 QUT lecture). Popular websites have already been derived from the increase of online social networks. This shows that the future holds a lot of room for more online interaction with social networking playing a significant role. Businesses are slowly starting to know how essential it to add social networking tools with business processes. All topics we as a class have learnt in the past weeks encompass how an organization can utilize social networking to empower their business. Using social networking to engage staff and customers can help strenghten customer relationships and promote a company and/or a brand. Engaging with customers does not only mean engaging with everyday consumers but may also mean engaging with other organizations to sell a product or service. Social media has provided users with a strong sense of community online enabling users to interact amongst one another whether they have the same interests or not. Many companies have used Facebook to promote their product. Consequently, I model for a company called SHRWLTH Apparel using Facebook to promote its biggest product launch and promote further products through it. SHRWLTH Apparel has utilized their Facebook to attract a customer base and inform customers about their new products on a regular basis. The company was able to attract more than a 1000 customers in a short amount of time due to the fact that they decided to incorporate social media with their business.
After carefully analysing how social networking and social media can be used to enhance business processes I have formulate 5 strategies for organizations to consider if they plan on joining the social media bandwagon.
- Awareness: This is a fairly logical step to undertake due to the fact that companies are trying to build a reputation. Thus, creating awareness is essential and with social networking, there is an array of social media tools that can be used to assist companies with creating awareness. Social media such as Facebook, Youtube, Google, and Twitter are all great examples.
- Customer Engagement: Establishing a target market can aid in engaging certain customers with certain products and/or services and maintain efficiency.
- Content: As mentioned in previous blog posts, content within social media sites are significant to establish the direction companies want to head. Having the ability to control the flow of information provided will help keep staff members and customers in the loop and nevertheless, providing accurate information ensures that all stakeholders are up to date with business processes of a company.
- Support: Providing ongoing support or maintenance will reduce the necessity for customers or employees to ask for assistance. Keeping an ongoing support system using social media can shorten time and reduce travel costs in order for users to collaborate and share information.
- Policies: Policies are a significant for companies to establish with regards to utilizing social media. Making sure there are a set of rules and responsibilities staff members and customers abide by will help develop a safe and effective online environment.