Facebook has 1.28 billion monthly active users, increasing 15% in the last year. Brands that invest in social networking connect with consumers in the millions – Coca-Cola has over 82 million likes on Facebook.
With more than 70% of all internet users active on social sites, we believe there will be a huge increase in the use of social media by businesses to communicate with consumers, and eventually other businesses.
By engaging with consumers via social media, businesses can build more meaningful relationships. They can gain valuable insight into consumer behaviour, connect with consumers early in the buying process and encourage them to share their experiences of the brand.
Marketing teams can use social media to help ensure that consumers have the best brand experience, sales can promote offers and find new leads, customer services can efficiently handle customer enquiries and complaints, HR teams can find the best recruits, operations departments can improve productivity, and research teams can develop new products faster.
A shift in power and its inherent threat
Businesses need to completely change the way they communicate with consumers and adopt the relevant social etiquette. Social media is the first mass medium that isn’t controlled by large corporations. With consumers in the US and UK already spending more time with digital media than traditional media, there has been a shift in power from businesses to consumers. Consumers can openly challenge brands on social media and, if the business has a social media presence, they will expect to be able to engage with it immediately.
This poses a major challenge for businesses. They must re-invent themselves to be completely engaged with their communities of consumers with social media as an essential part of the overall communications strategy. An integrated approach is needed to share information across business functions as social media is relevant to every department in an organisation.
Software is a key to enable users to make the most of opportunities in social media. Enterprises need to put processes and controls in place to ensure that enthusiastic efforts are coordinated and managed securely. This is why we offer a unified platform that covers all enterprise social media management requirements, including publishing, moderation, social media analytics and listening functionality. We provide a complete view of conversations as they happen, which is essential for engaging with customers globally on a growing number of social channels.
Consumer conversations have moved to social media and to have a voice companies need the right technology to understand and engage with the customer.