It seems that the world has become completely saturated with social media.
You can use Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin, blogs, Web sites, Tokbox and Skype, to name a few. There are literally hundreds of social media options available.
This new way of connecting directly to consumers, suppliers, employees, competitors, family and friends is impacting the way that many individuals conduct their lives. For those unfamiliar with social media, learning how to leverage this new communication method can be very complex and confusing.
Social media is certainly impacting businesses, and here are some ways that it is being used to boost business. Seth Godin, a recognized marketing guru, has recently released a book titled “Tribes.” He states that every person is leading a tribe. This is true. Social media is changing the way that many tribes are being led.
Use Twitter to provide updates to customers about new products, technology or capabilities. It can also be used to provide a discount coupon to customers that follow your updates. Read Chris Brogan’s blog (www.chrisbrogan.com) to learn cutting-edge ways that others are using Twitter to boost their business. Point others to examples of how your business can help them.
Use Twitter Search (search.twitter.com) to see what others are saying about your products and services. You can also use this feature to learn what your competitors are doing and see how they are interacting with their customers.
It is sometimes alarming to read the feedback, especially if you run a larger company that deals with the public directly. Everyone has an opinion, and many people will use Twitter and Facebook to share their opinion with the world. Look for trends in the feedback. It is possible to find new market opportunities by reading the thoughts shared via Twitter.
Facebook recently passed a huge milestone. They surpassed their 200 millionth active user. This means that Facebook can be an excellent place to connect with your customers. You can create a page that is all about your business. On that page, you can share upcoming events, special sales and new products and share stories of how customers have benefited from partnering with your business. You can share photos and videos as well.
Linkedin is an excellent way to maintain your professional network. As your business grows, your network will also grow. Linkedin can ensure that you remain connected with your past and present colleagues. Your network can have the ability to produce business opportunities in the future.
Social media does not replace core business principles. Outstanding customer service, delivering what was promised, and top quality remain essential.
Carefully consider how these free tools can benefit your business, and then leverage them appropriately. It is certainly a mistake to completely change a successful business model just to conform it to social media because it is the new craze.