Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite, a social media management system with 5 million users (including our company), wrote a guest post today on Forbes.com, entitled "5 Ways Social Media Will Change The Way You Work in 2013."
This article is directed at a more corporate crowd, but there is still value for wireless retailers interested in using social media tools to improve internal communications and operations.
- Wireless retailers are prime candidates for using social media as a powerful communications tool. Certain business elements, including employee demographics, services, and the size of a typical wireless retail store location make implementation easy and natural. You're selling the very phones upon which these social media apps operate.
- The wireless retail industry is arguably one of the fastest evolving tech industries, so being able to communicate updates in real-time is crucial -– something readily achieved with tools like Twitter or an internal Facebook group.
- No one looks forward to opening a inbox filled with emails, but most people look forward to receiving new facebook updates or mentions on Twitter.
At the 2012 Summit, Allan Pulga and I outlined some of the benefits for wireless retailers using social media as an extension of and complement to their marketing efforts.
I would say the following few best practices created the most “Ah ha!” moments in the audience:
- Regardless of the medium, ensure that you engage with your audience: Don’t “talk at” but “communicate with” your customers and social media followers.
- Be responsive to both positive and negative comments, posts, tweets, etc. Social media should be viewed (and treated) as an extension of a company’s traditional customer service channels.
- Try and segment your social media followers first, and then use that to guide the type of content you share (e.g. B2B business will have a much different messaging than a B2C organization).
The take-home message here is: Business owners can’t ignore social media anymore.
Ryan Holmes says, “It looks like many of the big (and sometimes overhyped) promises that have surrounded social media – better insight into customer behavior, improved office productivity with internal networks and, of course, signficant, measurable ROI – will finally begin to bear fruit.”
Holmes’ business interest in this arena notwithstanding, I tend to agree with his points. There are many more tools available for companies to track their social media performance. Solutions like as HootSuite and Radian 6 provide marketing managers with specific insight into their social media ROI. Marketers are becoming less interested in the number of new “likes” and “followers” and much more interested in how their services are positioned in blogs, forums and amongst thought leaders.
Social media is also proving to be important across different business units. Sales uses it to stay in touch with new/current clients; HR uses it to promote postings and company culture; and Business Development uses it to stay on top of competitors.