How can social media benefit your business?
So, what can social media do for your business? This Friday Marcie and I are hosting a lunchtime discussion with about 20 businesses from around Cambridge to answer this question and explain how social media is changing the landscape of marketing and communications.
While I’m enthusiastic about the viral power of social media, I also fully understand the stresses and strains of running a business. Rather than evangelising about the power of the internet, we will be providing clear examples of how companies can open up new opportunities, make money and save money from the effective use of the social web.
Here are the five top questions I get asked by businesses that are considering venturing into social media – with my shorthand responses:
Who should manage social media? – Social media cross-cuts communications,customer services, PR and marketing, but it also impacts other areas of business. Where it sits depends on the size and structure of your business and what you’re looking to achieve but it’s not a task for the office junior.
Is social media personal or corporate? – Social media is personal in nature, but people can be associated with a brand or business. Decisions about branding need to be taken early on to ensure there’s no ambiguity.
Where’s the ROI in social media? - Purists would say the ROI is that you get to survive and thrive. The reality is that only after you have provided real value and generated trust within a community can you expect to receive returns. Whether these come in the form of sales, cost savings, PR etc. depends on your goals.
Are our customers really using social networks? – Yes. The likelihood is, even if you are a solid B2B business, a significant number of your customers are using blogs, LinkedIn and Twitter. That percentage is only likely to increase over the coming months and years.
Where will we find the time to do this? When you start your social media campaign, you will need to commit to regular, active engagement for at least 4-5 months. Social media isn’t a quick win solution. To start with it’s about scheduling in the time and sticking to it.
To get our full responses to these questions you need to attend one of The Foundry House’s lunchtime meetings. If you’re interested, why not drop us a line? Alternatively you can post your questions here as comments.
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