3 Ways to Think Beyond Social Media Marketing

Mon 11 February 2013 10:00, Harshvardhan Vasudeva

3 Ways to Think Beyond Social Media Marketing

Following the recent trends and the hype related to social media marketing, I wanted to know whether social media could mean more than just marketing for companies? If so, is it worth investigating other avenues by which firms could create a sustainable advantage over its competitors?

Pretty much every company today has at least a basic social media presence such as a Facebook page, some take it further and even offer free giveaways in exchange for a ‘like’. Case in point the "Breaking Rocks" clothing store offers a chance to win 3 hip sweaters for liking their page a month before the actual launch of the brand. In the past few years social media has proved itself to be a low-cost, effective, and measurable referral marketing technique that has carved the path for new-age SMEs to scale globally and play with the big boys. 

Some companies have gone a step further and have been using social media for anything from better employee communication to custom user content with greater cross-functional integration, in some cases generating up to an astounding 70% of extra profit through social technologies. Below are a few inspirational uses by some firms that can be easily applied across most industries. 

Collaboration

Microsoft’s Channel 9, a software-community platform where developers can watch and comment on videos, was rebuilt using a Microsoft cloud platform due to its popularity within the developer world. The website’s purpose is essentially two-fold – on the one hand it provides vital information to developers and on the other hand it enables Microsoft to crowdsource innovative ideas by leveraging the developer community’s expertise.

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Operations

KPN, a Dutch telecommunications company, stumbled upon their newfound social media function with what began as a social media strategy to strengthen their employees’ networks. This shaped into a more operational use when 170 volunteers from KPN’s social community came to the rescue of a technical team that was testing a new modem by helping them test the product and provide the designers with feedback. In this sense, integrating crowdsourcing with social media can provide an innovative, cost-effective and interactive way to utilise an established community. 

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Customer Service

A rapidly emerging trend is the use of social media platforms such as twitter for customer service or post-sales support. Customer service over twitter has a multitude of advantages over the conventional system, the first one being cost reduction. Additional benefits include transparency, lightning fast issue resolutions (sometimes all it takes is a tweet!) and positive brand recognition. For instance, Comcast set up @Comcastcares and became one of the first companies to use twitter as an effective tool for customer-relationship. An interesting in-depth analysis and easy step-by-step instructions to use twitter for customer service can be found here. 

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Whether it’s marketing, customer service or operations, the role of social media in business is one that no company can afford to ignore anymore.



Comments (4)

 

    • r d vasudeva

    well done keep it up. success follows u

    Ma 11 feb 2013, 12:56


    • Nivzer

    Nice harsh, very insightful

    Di 12 feb 2013, 03:40


  • I think the idea of using Twitter as a customer care service is a good one. However, I am not sure if many companies will be willing to do that and forget the oldschool way of doing things - e-mail.

    Vr 15 feb 2013, 13:21


    • Kunal

    well written article..hope to read more of your stuff! cheers

    Di 17 dec 2013, 05:23

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