What is Social Media for Business?
Social media is a collection of online communication channels focused on creating an online social space for people to use. However, the popularity of social media isn't restricted to our social lives anymore, businesses are jumping on the craze too. Here are some of the ways social media is used in business:
Customer relations: Just like you can use social media to keep in touch with your loved ones, businesses can use it to build strong links with their customers, both locally and globally, as well as creating a healthy workforce through employee/employer relations.
Marketing: As traditional forms of marketing and promotion have become less effective, businesses can use social media in order to increase their exposure to potential customers, and therefore increase their audience. For example, brands using influential people such as reality stars and celebrities to endorse their products with sponsored social media posts. People can be highly influenced by what their favourite celebrities use, so brands use this technique for promotion.
Business-focused platforms: As well as businesses using the traditional forms of social media to increase their exposure and maintain good customer relations, there are social media platforms out there specifically for businesses. LinkedIn is the most established example of this. Set up in 2003, the site is used for professional networking where employers can post job roles and job seekers can share their CVs – a social network for the professional side of life.
Reviews: Social media can influence consumer's purchase decisions through reviews, marketing tactics and advertising. It allows the customer to have the power to share their experience of a company – something that has the potential to advertise the organisation in the best possible way, through the voices of the customers.
Some brands stand out in their use of social media, here are some examples:
Instagram is the platform of social media that Missguided excels in because everything they post is seen by their 4.3 million followers – all potential customers for them to target easily through the visual display of their clothing. They mix product promotion with lifestyle posts and humorous content to keep their users engaged and entertained.
One move that makes Missguided different from their competitions is their 2018 partnership strategy with the ITV show Love Island, the summer obsession that takes over television screens from June to August. The multichannel triumph involved product placement on the show, show highlights and 'shop the look' editorial in the Missguided app, promo in-store and on the web, and lots of interaction with the show and its fans on social media. The result of this strategy was that sales increased by 40% when the show aired each evening.
The popular pizza company is way out ahead in the fast food market when it comes to the use of social media as they constantly innovate the mobile experience. The brand has a tweet-to-order service, as well as a 'DOM The Pizza Bot' that allows you to order your favourites on the Facebook Messenger app – both strategies that allow ordering pizza to become even easier.
Moreover, Domino's openness is clear to see on Instagram, where staff members' own less-than-perfect photos of the brand's pizza take precedence over staged shots from company HQ. The company comes across as more authentic as a result, and clearly, it worked as Domino's sales overtook Pizza Hut in 2017.
No one likes being left on hold, but BT's use of social media deflects 600,000 calls every year, solving problems through live chat and directing customers to the correct areas of the website instead of clogging up their phone lines. Customers using social channels has an impact on satisfaction too, a perfect example of using social media to improve customer/brand relations. As well as this, BT has created YouTube videos to explain problems to customers, another way of deflecting people from their phone lines. All these actions mean that problems are dealt with as efficiently as possible, and customer satisfaction is higher because they aren't kept waiting on the phone.
Social media is incredibly influential on people, and this is used by companies to target their customers. Moreover, the communication between customers and brands is made much easier with social media platforms.