Not just marketing
In the past few years I've realized that many people still think that social media is just another tool for marketing. It is certainly great when used wisely in marketing, but much like magazines, meetings and smartphones, it serves a limitless stream of functions.
From the experts
I know I am not the first to say this. Many blogs, news articles and companies have demonstrated this well. Rick Spence's April 7th Financial Post article points to customer relationship management (CRM) and the potential for reduced response times and increased feedback as additional perks of going beyond 'just marketing'. Tom Petrocelli's September 5th blog on "Tom's Tech Take II" highlights the value of social media analytics in supply chain, human resources (HR), research and development (R&D) and even intellectual property (IP) protection. A Google search will reveal many others.
Social media functions
Whether you're using free social media platforms such as Twitter, Linkedin or Mazree, paid tools such as Basecamp or Hootsuite, you begin to see that social media is far more than Marketing. Mazree is a supply chain collaboration tool that allows you to interact with existing and potential suppliers. Linkedin is known by job seekers and employers as valuable in sourcing and screening for recruitment purposes.
Social media at your service
How can social media work for you in the different areas of your business? How can leveraging these tools save you time, money and resources for more effective allocation? Whether you:
- Do the research yourself, periodically,
- Get a chief social media officer (CSMO),
- Hire a social media consultant occasionally,
Don't miss opportunities for increased business efficiency. These are just a few business functions that effectively use social media. Can you benefit in any of these areas? Other areas?
Marketing | Project Mgmt | Public Relations
Customer Service | HR Mgmt | Crowdsourcing | Community
Product R&D | Event Mgmt | Education
Food for thought
Implementing social media for business across the board is not easy. Smaller organizations can make it happen more readily, but not quite so with large companies. Still, larger organizations will eventually have to get on board, but changing mindsets is not an easy feat. Try involving staff in brainstorming how this could work for them:
- Does it give me time to focus energy elsewhere?
- Can I work with the global team more effectively?
If tools out there don't meet your needs. Companies out there will build one for you.
Share your thoughts and experiences with social media in other areas, in the comments below. Readers would benefit from your insights and experiences when they try this themselves.