Social media is essential.

Social media is inevitable.

Is your company social-ready?

Today’s world revolves around social media. It has become a vital part of people’s lives and it has become a vital part for companies to interact with customers and obtain feedback from them.

Start thinking about how to use social; that is, if you have serious intentions of having your business survive and make it rich in the competitive world out there. Companies need to be smart and incorporate social media into their plans at the earliest, so that they can derive advantage from investment in it. The question arises as to how can a business owner incorporate social media in his plans!

Social media can be leveraged in many ways so that your business goals are fulfilled. There are different points of action, where social media integration can help. These include strategy, customer service, branding and promotion, as part of corporate communications, market research and survey, conversation marketing etc. By itself, social media may not be enough but in combination with other tools, it can prove to be a potent business tool.

Integration with business strategy

Companies can best use social media tools like Tweetdeck, Likeable Hub and Sendible effectively, when they have a strategy which is tailored in line with their organizational goals. Developing such a strategy will ensure that you determine your target audience, the kinds of social media technology which will help your business in achieving its goals in the long run. Ensure that your objectives are measurable.

Many surveys also report that there is some confusion in companies as to which department is responsible for social media management – PR, branding and communication, marketing, sales , customer service? This can cause confusion and conflicts in implementation of business plans. So before integrating social media into your business plan, it is important to determine who will be managing social media usage and demarcate the roles accordingly. There may be a single social media team who may have to liaise with different departments to ensure that goals are translated.

Integration with marketing

Social media is considered to be an increasingly important component of a company’s marketing strategy. Yet, many companies still consider it separately and earmark funds for it on a separate basis.  Here are some suggestions on how to better use social in your marketing strategy.

There are a wide variety of social media tools out there and many are on the way. It can get a little bit difficult for companies to decide which to use. There is a simple way to do this: choose that tool which best fits your marketing strategy and can enhance its success. Do not select a tool just on the basis of its appeal. It has to be one that helps the marketing side reach its goals and influences its strategy – basically, adding value to it.

Also, when using a social media tool for a particular marketing strategy, connect it with an achievable desirable customer-related objective. For example, its usage should increase chances of customers opting to purchase or some other kind of measurable objective.

Integration with branding and advertising

Social media can also be used fruitfully by the advertising and promotion department to enhance the visibility and presence of your brand on the internet. They have to build awareness of the brand in the market, but again building this awareness needs to be tied up with marketing goals. You can integrate social media with search marketing efforts, email (social and email can be used in a complementary way) to promote and drive your brand’s presence across the web. You can use Twitter or Facebook to promote your page and your company. You can carry out online activities, encourage public participation and thus give more visibility to your company.

Social media also provides a great way to listen in on customer conversations regarding your brand, products, services, etc. and you can obtain a lot of data, which can be used to tailor new branding strategies. Hence, you need to integrate social media listening into your branding strategy. Social media listening is carried out by the use of keywords which are specific to your business/service/product/brand and has to be related to trade/industry/special events/location/etc.

Social media marketing can be added to your marketing strategy arsenal after you have done an audit of your current marketing efforts and see where social media implementation can be of great benefit.

Integration with customer service

Social media is of great importance in the area of customer service. If you want to really know and understand what customers are thinking and saying about your brand or service, use your social media as a listening tool. It is, thus, a conversation management and follow-up tool. 

The kind of feedback you get on social media can actually provide you some idea of how well your customer service is doing. If your customer service is doing poorly, you will be bound to hear about it on social media. What is more important is how you respond to that feedback and use it to improve your business strategies and service. Improvements would be duly noted and shared.

Thus, social media when integrated with customer service can provide a great way of getting your thumb on the pulse of customers’ opinions and views.

In conclusion, social media can help business organizations in different ways in implementation of their business goals. Hence, it needs to be systematically integrated into the business strategy plan.

Jacey Johnson is a tech blogger who loves to write about recent events. She's currently working with as a student advisor and has been a member of English Language Center. She’s passionate about educational technology, digital and social media trends.

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