Social media can give businesses a competitive edge by connecting with potential customers and have them “sold” – before they even walk through the door. No matter how big or affluent your company may be, the on-line world is a great equalizer – and a great connector. To that point, a recent Research In Motion survey found that 69% of small firms using social networks felt it helped them to compete more effectively with larger competitors. The survey also found that 53% of business leaders who use social networking were pursuing a growth strategy, while 70 % of those who don’t use social media were focused on cash management operations.
Though social media provides great opportunity, it is work. It can be labour intensive and unproductive if you have not thought through a plan. SM activities can be a “black hole” without proper goals and measurements.
By George Journal has come across a very good summary of “dos and don’ts for businesses” engaged in social media initiatives. Here are some highlights of important advice passed on by Chris Maxwell, from Director magazine (as found on UK’s website Business Zone).
- With sm activities and content development, be sure to channel your efforts – don’t simply add to the on-line noise. Don’t open too many accounts (which eventually will be left dormant). Pick the channel(s) that best suits your business needs.
- CEOs and executive teams must lead the organization’s on-line discussion(s). However, don’t let on-line postings and exchanges become a distraction to your enterprise.
- Be sure to respond and to interact with customers. However, only answer when you have to – by providing intelligent, measured replies.
- Keep your voice “real” – no unnatural jargon or pitching. Don’t fall into the spam trap.
- Allocate enough staff to social media – but don’t allow sm activity to become “the black hole” of the office. Set goals. Provide guidelines.
And, here’s more related social-media and business tips from back-articles of the By George Journal:
- 5 essential sm tools that will help you develop a voice and make an impressionable statement on-line.
- Hooking Eyeballs?: Pointers re “effective” on-line content
- Basics of Developing Good SM Content
- Guideposts to effective social media practices