Primer…How Businesses Use Social Media

importance of social media for businessesYou love it or hate it; it is here to stay and gain in strength. That is the power of social media! According to some reports, Indians have third largest presence on internet and it is fast growing. Thanks to the one day subscription schemes, or one-month schemes by the mobile operators, Wi-Fi in cafes and several affordable smart phones, there is wider availability of internet in India which is encouraging the use of social media. Currently trending social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Hangout, Hi5, Whats App and so on.

The primary application of social media seems to be staying in touch, communicating and entertainment (sorry, we are not referring here several other perverted uses of social media!). However, it is very interesting to note how organisations have started using social media to serve multiple business objectives.

How do businesses use social media? 

While there are many potential applications of social media for organisations, let us look at some of the prominent ones.

Brand Building: You visit any company website; brand building using social mediayou will find social media icons asking  you to follow their page on multiple social media platforms. Why? The primary reason is to build and strengthen the brand. They want to remain in the mind space of their exiting or potential customers by constantly positioning and communicating.

Engagement with the customer: There are some organisations, which go beyond brand building. They wish to use social media to engage with the customer. For example, Harvard Business Review posts their cover page designs for ensuing issue and invite feedback from their readers. Movie industry in India is using social media in a big way as a pre-release promotional tool. Eliciting Feedback: Though a bit risky, some companies use social media platforms to receive feedback on their products or services. For example, see the Twitter handle of Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Mahindra Group.

I often notice how customers posting their grievances on his page directly. Similarly, look at the pressure on governments and political parties, which receive scathing attacks, and harsh feedback on their actions or lack of it which in turn influence their policy announcements.

Business Development: Social media also offers a platform to connect with potential customers or clients and build business leads. Particularly, for many small & medium size enterprises, boutique shops, freelancers social media offers powerful access to reach out to potential clients.

Now that we know how businesses use social media for various key applications, keep a track of this space to know how HR folks use social media and what is in it for you! 

6x4---

By: Dr. Raj

CEO, HR Footprints Management Services, Pvt. Ltd. 

This article was published in: 

HR Mirror, Hans India

Follow us on Twitter @hrfootprints

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