“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it,” – Erik Qualman
A modern public image, powered by social media technologies, is important for contemporary businesses, and hence this image should be carefully planned, created, and nurtured because it can help the business to stand out in a competitive market. Social media represents an important aspect of the modern Internet and can therefore, must be harnessed in the service of commerce. Every business that has ambitions to become a global brand should acknowledge that social media has permanently transformed the means through which people interact. This makes it incumbent upon the modern business enterprise to cultivate a distinct corporate presence in social media platforms. The senior management of the business should provide inputs on the tone and the essence of the message to be conveyed. In addition, professional media consultants and social media specialists should be consulted for their expertise. The inputs from these sources can be melded to achieve the best possible social media image. We have to bear in mind that the journey of building and consolidating a corporate image on social media may be slow, but it should be incremental. These efforts can create multiple benefits because the product can be said to represent a considered outcome of calibrated corporate efforts.
A social media image can be used to further marketing efforts. The very fluid nature of cyber space and the immediacy inherent in social media platforms lend themselves very well to the art and science of marketing. We have to bear in mind that social media has a wide following in the modern world; membership in social media is expanding each day and therefore, social media platforms represent a gateway to a significant market populated growing numbers of online citizens. Interactions with customers on social media can have the effect of transmitting feedback to the top echelons of the corporate organization. The nimble organization can actually use this feedback to correct course or to enhance its product and service offerings. In light of the above, we must note that a business needs to carefully consider the impact of its social media image before it sets about constructing the said image.
Consider this: a cosmetics manufacturer should first consider and develop the rationale for building a social media image. This effort can lead to the realization that a number of young women are active on social media platforms and therefore, the online world of social media represents a sizeable business opportunity. This cosmetics manufacturer can then strategize on the various aspects of the image, and assess whether the outcome of such efforts would help the company to stand apart from its competition. A glitzy, visually attractive, often-updated social media presence can help the company to achieve its stated objectives. This presence serves to tell its customers on social media that the company is a modern organization that values its customers and is open to the idea of meeting its customers in cyber space. The ability to highlight its latest creations in social media may become its chief selling point, thereby boosting the company’s sales and revenue.
A commercial organization active in social media platforms should create and transmit consistent messages crafted to promote the business. Consistency is important because it reflects the corporate ethos as also the distinct identity of the organization. In terms of content to be hosted on its social media handle, the company can choose from a wide variety of its products and services. Time-sensitive offers can be promoted on social media to spur user engagement. Attractive imagery and colour schemes should be used to attract and retain users and new customers. Social media handles need consistent effort and therefore, the modern enterprise should hire a bench of worthy talent that has specific experience in managing commercial social media interactions. Queries from visitors should be addressed as soon as possible because the responsiveness of social media handles plays a significant role in creating the final impression. These efforts can pay sizeable dividends in the long term and therefore the commercial organization should stay invested in its efforts to create a worthy image on social media.
The online presence of a commercial organization should be embellished with first class content in social media platforms. The modern corporate enterprise should consider starting a blog on its website or social media handle. Such actions are akin to inaugurating a bulletin board in cyber space, thereby guaranteeing a certain degree of interaction with customers, visitors, and other online traffic. Top grade content can work wonders for the commercial organization that wishes to thrive in cyber space. Content for social media platforms can also be sourced from content specialists that understand the tone and timbre of the content to be delivered. Further, the commercial enterprise can create content based on its own products; case studies can be used to illustrate the benefits that accrue from the use of said products. We must bear in mind that these initiatives should ideally be an on-going partnership between top management, product managers, and the social media bench – because all of these operate under the umbrella of the corporate logo. Acting in unison, these different aspects of the corporate enterprise can present a unified face for social media consumers.
Modern corporations should leverage the full power of social media to their advantage. Social media has phenomenal reach in the present day, and this reach is unrivalled. The Internet affords corporate enterprises a fantastic opportunity to mould and shape public opinion from the ground up; therefore, building a stellar social media image should be a top priority for corporate enterprises. This image can help to burnish and complement the real world public image of the company. Further, social media can be used as a tool to enhance business. Electronic coupons and social media-only discounts can be used to spur sales among online visitors. Such actions can be ‘shared’ by social media users and this has the potential to multiply sales for the brand or the company. We may say that a company that offers such sales can carve a niche reputation for itself and this is itself represents a worthy validation of the company’s efforts in social media. In addition, we should note that a business that takes its social media image seriously can also use social media to monitor the competition. This kind of action can help to build market intelligence and therefore create strategies to help the brand perform better.
In the preceding paragraphs, we have extensively analysed the benefits that accrue to a business that chooses to build and sustain a competent social media image. Interesting information and new ways of conducting commerce can emerge from a vigorous practice of such actions. A fine social media presence can also serve to win the confidence of new customers and other stakeholders – such as new investors. This can be especially critical when a business is actively considering a listing on the stock market. An active social media presence can signal potential investors that the said business is friendly to every customer demographic and that it has set its sights on the long term. These signals can help to shape favourable investor perception while boosting the business to new heights.