When businesses look at the potential applications of social media they will often rub their hands together with glee as they realise all the marketing opportunities before them. There are countless ways you can use social media to network with potential customer and clients, and the interconnected nature of such sites and powerful infrastructure mean they’re perfectly designed for helping an idea to go global. Then of course there’s all the information that people who use these networks upload about themselves which makes these sites ideal for connecting with targeted audience. In short it’s really quite useful.
But there are other uses of social media too, and if your company is looking at social networking only in terms of marketing then you are missing a big trick. Here are some of the other applications of social media that are just as powerful but that can help other aspects of your business.
Social media is a fantastically powerful communications tool that has a lot of advantages over more traditional forms of communication such as post and e-mail. This includes B2B communication, B2C communication and also internal communication between your colleagues. If you need to give your entire team up-to-date information then why send out hundreds of e-mails when you could just create a group or page that everyone can access? While the cloud has become a source for storing information, social media is still a great delivery tool that brings content to people. While you can store files in could database, using groups puts that information with regularity into peoples hands and allows them to comment and even build a database of responses and inquires.
Social media can also be highly useful for collaboration, and there are a number of ways you can use social networks to get multiple people to work on the same project or to coordinate organization elements. Think about cross collaboration for creativity and generating new ideas, think about the benefits of things like Twitter Chats.
Feedback and Crowdsourcing
Using social media you have a connection with the very members of the general public you hope to become your customers. At the same time though it’s important to remember that this bridge is two way meaning you can also use it to get information from them that can help you to provide a better business model or come up with new ideas. Ask the people you are creating for what they want and you can’t really go wrong. And recently there has been a potentially even more useful form of social network too – crowdfunding sites that enable you to get funding from the very customers you’re designing your products for.
It’s not just the general public that you can connect with using social media, it’s also other businesses which can potentially benefit you in a large number of different ways. Using social media you can find potential business partners to help you with a range of aspects of your business. Sites like LinkedIn take great advantage of this fact and it’s a great way to advance your business. Think of LinkedIn connections as a reason to introduce yourself and tell people what you do, the product or service you offer and how you fulfill needs and wants.
Finally it’s also possible to go one step further and to integrate social media into your very business model, or come up with an entirely new business model based on the capabilities of social media. This could mean you just launch your own social network, or it could mean that you create a business based around a social element in the vein of Groupon. Great businesses that find huge success often do so by taking advantage of technological developments in smart ways, so think about how you could build a business model or improve your current system by integrating web 2.0.
Ben Austin is an internet marketing expert and has been writing articles advising webmasters about how to optimize their sites. He is of the opinion that approaching a trustworthy link building agency is very important if one wants a good Page Rank for one’s site.
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