Using social media is new trend that is slowly being adopted by many enterprises and corporations. As technology has enhanced, and improved, more and more people are becoming inter-connected online; and as a result interacting far more often via social media tools. By tapping into such tools, it is possible for businesses to receive a number of benefits. This post will consider just what those benefits are, and how a corporation such as the International Geological Congress can carry out.
Of course these approaches works best if the organisation has a dedicated social media team (or employee).
Enhanced Relationships and Customer Service
Customers have become accustomed to using internet-based tools to quickly find information. No longer are people interested in reading through multiple page documentation. Would you read through a 20 page user manual to find a resolution to a problem, when you can just google the problem your having? This problem is known by many designers as a short-attention span (and no I’m not trying to insult!). In fact, it’s why most interfaces are beginning to be designed so that the user doesn’t have to click multiple times through menu trees – users should be able to find information quickly and easily.
Many businesses offer support help-lines (contact the business through email is the most traditional). However after the above trend, customers to no longer wish to wait for a few hours (or even days) for a response. By creating social media accounts, organisations such as the IGC can more noticeably and quickly reply to customers queries.
This approach will have a number of benefits.
- Firstly, the customer will be happy to receive a quick response. Quick and reliable customer service is often considered as, if not more, important than the actual product itself now-a-days. Quick and helpful responses from a social media team will highlight your company’s customer service records, and make you seem far more reliable and trustworthy. A true value to the customer.
- Secondly, the happier the customer, the more likely they are to buy from your organisation – and recommend to friends. Good customer service will result in increased future sales and profits. Remember, it’s easier to keep a customer than it is to find new customers.
- Thirdly, such information will be publicly available – meaning that other customers should be able to easily find it using search engines (potentially resolving their problems too). Also, other customers who may be knowledgable about such things can also give advice, potentially solving the problem before your own support team does. Of course, it’s still a good idea to not let this happen too much…
Swifter Innovation and Increased Productivity
As I have mentioned in the post The ROI of “2.0″ Projects, social media can actually increase productivity. Unfortunately for most employees, social media tools such as Facebook have become known as “the biggest wastes of time ever”. In some sense, they can be; they easily distract people from the current task at hand, and delay project completion. Despite this, social media can actually increase productivity;
- It is possible to quickly contact people through messaging services, chat, status updates, and more (even when they aren’t online or present).
- It is possible to have effective group conversations that don’t turn into multiple conversations – like emails.
- It is possible to contact people even on the other side of the world, before which whom not easily contactable (i.e. you don’t need to wait up till 3AM to call someone on the other side of the world).
- It’s possible to keep a centralised location for documents, code, and whatever else. Gone are the days when you were emailing multiple versions of the same document – it’s now possible to sync (even wirelessly) across between devices, locations and people.
The popular ice cream company Ben and Jerry use Facebook to promote new products, release updates, and interact with customers. IMB created their own internal social networking service – taking this idea steps beyond any other corporation.
Can you think of any other benefits a company might receive for using social media?