In this digital age 'getting social' can be the defining line between a mediocre business and a successful one…
We all know that communication is key when it comes to growing a business and if you own a company or work in management, communication is likely to be a top priority. However, the new social channels online now provide more extensive platforms as well as outlets for constant communication, for individuals as well as businesses. Understanding how to use these channels to maximum effect and how to develop networks within them can have a significant impact on driving business growth.
So, what are these social channels?
The age of social media has firmly taken its hold and has created an immediate communication system between millions of people across the globe. Here, we’re talking about getting social online through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blogging. These social channels are not simply fads for youngsters talking popular culture, they are filled with world and business news, they create links between businesses of all sizes and allow networking for professionals. Essentially, they have adapted in to effective business networking and development tools, which can help a business stand out from the crowd by engaging an audience and creating a community, making it easier for businesses to communicate and gain more from it.
What can ‘getting social’ do for my business?
More and more businesses are realising the potential of getting social online as a way to build consistent communication with customers, network with other businesses, build and define brand image and better understand their industries.
The world spends a significant amount of time online, whether on social media, searching for a service or merely browsing. If your business is engaging in these new channels, you are more likely to crop up during a web surf; in a Google search or a Twitter hashtag, for example.
Each channel opens you up to a different audience and a new type of communication which means getting your business image and tone across in the right way on each channel is vital, as it allows a more consistent and engaging brand voice.
The reason a number of companies shy away from social media is due to the misconception that it lacks a professional tone. Instagram and Facebook, for example, may provide a more personal outlet for business communication, however, this will benefit rather than hinder a business as it adds a personality to the brand, which customers and clients pick up on and relate to. A business can still maintain professionalism and expertise on these channels especially through Twitter, Linkedin and Blogging. These channels work together to speak to an audience in an innovative way that allows them to truly engage with and understand a business.
Any form of business communication is positive; networking groups, meetings and events provide the ideal source of face to face contact, however maintaining that communication when these are over is just as, if not more, important to develop and maintain these relationships, which getting social online allows you to do.
How is it done?
Getting social online takes time, effort and commitment. Uploading blogs on the odd occasion or tweeting as and when will not get you very far. You need consistency; daily tweets or weekly blogs, for example, to ensure your messages are being heard. Unique and relevant content is vital as is the right tone of voice for your brand and audience; are you speaking B2B or B2C? Creating a monthly strategy for your social media content is the best option as it allows you to connect content across channels and ensures consistent communication.