Effective use of social media in business

Effective use of social media in business

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social_media_IFE ADEDAPO writes on how to use the social media to boost business growth.

The use of social media by corporate organisations for business activities is gradually gaining ground and experts note that this has been facilitated by the innovations in smartphones, apps and other technology devices.

Moreover, research reveals that the predominant population on social media platforms is not just young people but older people are learning how to use them more.

Business managers have confessed to have included social media as part of their overall marketing budget or strategy, as opposed to when it was regarded as a substandard tool, that no one wanted to spend time or money on.

Experts have highlighted some tasks executed using this technology as a business tool and the benefits derived from it.

Social platform offers cheaper services

The Chief Executive Officer, Mobile Rechargespot Limited, Mr. Michael Emmanuel, while speaking on the services he outsources using social platform established for such purposes says he is able to interact with experts from countries like Philippines, India, China and Europe.

According to him, professionals in online platform can execute tasks which range from public relations to Information Technology solutions, web designing, content writing and customer service.

He adds that these professionals finished their task at faster and at cheaper rates.

Explaining how it works, he says, “Once you put a full job description of what you want to do there, a lot of professionals will apply. You review jobs they have handled successfully, their credibility and other useful information that will help in making a decision on the professional who can do the job.”

According to Emmanuel, the money is paid upfront on the online platform which serves as an intermediary and could return the money if the output is unsatisfactory.

Gains prominent in sales and marketing

A McKinsey’s survey on social media technology indicates that sales and marketing departments of organisations are applying social tools extensively.

Specifically, the survey report titled, ‘Transforming the business through social tools,’ states that social media tools have been integrated into public-relations, customer-relationship-management as well as the marketing processes.

It states, “We asked executives about their companies’ use of social tools in 18 specific business processes. Among them, social technologies are the least integrated into the work flow for operations processes, such as order to cash and demand planning.”

According to the report, organisations having close relationship with their clients on a day-to-day basis profess that social tools have had the most significant impact on their performance.

Organisations increase investment in social technology

The report notes that companies deriving the greatest benefits from social interactions are much likelier than others to say these tools are highly integrated into all processes, not only their sales-and-marketing activities.

Although business executives admit that the benefits are difficult to measure, they say that the potential values these tools bring to their business are noticed.

It adds, “But the steady climb in the use of social media across platforms—along with the growing shares of respondents reporting outsize benefits from social interactions—indicates that significant gains can still be made. What’s more, executives are much more optimistic than in past years than their companies’ investments in social tools will grow. This result suggests that many more organisations will be able to realise additional value from technology use in the coming years.”

For better outcomes from the use of this advanced technology, Mckinsey suggests the following:

Have a targeted approach, broaden impact

Although, the overall adoption of social tools remains widespread, the report reveals that most companies use them intensely in only a few functional processes.

Moreover, it says successful use of social in sales-and-marketing processes suggests how much more potential value is at stake in other business operation.

To get the most value out of social technologies, the Mckinsey report suggests that companies should focus on specific cases where these tools could be implemented in a targeted way.

It says, “A company already using social tools could broaden the technologies’ impact by adopting them in areas such as operations, where they are used less often now.”

Focus on measurement of impact

As companies integrate these relatively new technologies in their business, Mckinsey notes that they also face the challenge of measuring data they have never seen or worked with before.

To use social tools more effectively and understand where and how they can add future value, the report suggests that companies must mind how to measure the impact from tools already in use.

It adds, “One approach is comparing existing metrics from areas of the business where social media is used against control-group areas without social tools. But the best methodology depends on the process and what benefits companies ultimately want to see.”

Change the way people work

Executives are optimistic about the potential business value from social tools—a common attitude toward new technologies, but then companies need time to figure out how to use it to drive real productivity improvements, it says.

It explains, “To reach the next S-curve of value from social tools, companies must think more holistically about the organisational and cultural changes to make. Social tools have the potential to change organisations, but only if those tools are implemented in a way that changes how individual employees work day to day.

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