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Leveraging Social Media for your Business

31. October 2009 14:48

Social sign post

There has been an unprecedented rise in social networking websites over the last couple of years, and even with the success of sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter businesses have been slow to take advantage of the potential benefits they can provide.

The power of social networking is that it allows companies and brands to engage with their customers in a two-way dialogue rather than a traditional marketing broadcast approach.  This allows businesses to manage their customer relations, talk to a customer focus groups, raise awareness of their products through different types of media, while allowing supporters of a brand to endorse your services and keep up-to-date on your latest products.

Creating a Social Media Strategy

Before you start signing up to every social networking site you can find, it’s worth deciding what you are trying to achieve and focusing your time and efforts in those networks where your target customer base congregate.

Define what you are trying to achieve:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase customer retention
  • Provide a feedback mechanism
  • Target new or existing customers
  • Get customers to share their ideas
  • Involve customers in your product development
  • Recruit employees

Then start building your communities on the social networking sites you have chosen, but make sure you follow the social etiquette and don’t fall into the trap that companies like Habitat did recently.  Decide who in your organisation will be responsible for the up-keep of your networks and set processes in place for managing your online reputation.

Photo used under Creative Commons from caseywest

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