Nine ways to social media

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Nine ways your business could be using social media, but probably isn’t.

© 2009 north venture partners, llc | www.dontgosouth.com

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www.northsocial.com

social media isn’t just for interns


The emergence of a powerful new communication platform that reaches well over 300 million consumers is nothing short of remarkable, but it also might not be the best time to hand over the keysto an intern to drive the conversation. Sure, these new platforms are the playground for the young and connected, but the user profile of most social networks is older than you might think, and its climbing quickly.

For companies, resistance to social media is futile. Millions of people are creating content for the social web. Your competitors are already there. Your customers have been therefor a long time. If your business isn't putting itself out there, it ought to be.”

This just in, consumers are now spending more time on social networks than any other form of website, including porn.
To make the most of this newly emerging opportunity to connect with your consumer, to shape your brand, and develop long-term customer relationships at a fraction of „above the line‟ media costs,this opportunity simply can‟t be squandered.

BusinessWeek, 2009

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setting up an account is not a strategy

While the simplicity of social platforms can enable rapid growth, it can also create a false sense of accomplishment for those who don‟t create a focused plan to leverage the power of these platforms for real business goals. Now is the time to take a moment and think about youroverall business strategy and what role social media might play in hitting your objectives. The bad news, if you don‟t currently know where your business is heading, than social

media might just be an express ticket to nowhere.

Take a quick inventory of how you are leveraging social media today: o o o o o o o o o Public Relations Customer Support Market Research Brand Marketing PromotionsConsumer Education Sales Product Development Customer Relationship Management

Regardless of whether you have one or one million friends, followers, or fans there are multiple ways your business could benefit from a more proactive social media strategy.

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1. public relations

Social media platforms touch well over 350 million people world wide every single day. These platforms representsone of the most direct and immediate channels into the hearts and minds of consumers, voters, and the public media. For certain brands this platform can be a direct communication platform that enables brands to find supporters and evangelists (by filtering through organic posts) as well as identify dissenters, opposing threats and negative

messages about you, your company, your brand, or yourentire industry.

Social media platforms present a completely new opportunity to instantly deliver messages to millions of people. The impact on public relations is simply ground shaking.

How the various platforms are employed to shape the public perception, and to impact traditional media channels is part art, part science. Crafting compelling messages, and embracing transparency are thefoundation for success.

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2. customer support

For a huge number of businesses there is a hidden cost that is rarely discovered until after it‟s too late in the game. Long after the sale is made, this hidden problem can grow into a huge drain on profitability in the form of customer support costs. Good customer service is essential to maintaining a positive brand image, and it is a keystrategy to eliminate product returns.

Where traditionally customer support has been viewed as a cost center, smart brands are starting to use social networks to help offload their support costs on to a community of super users.
The net effect of this strategy is often two fold. Consumers get the support they need (at virtually no cost to the brand) and they

also feel more connected to a larger...
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