There is no doubt that the business world has changed drastically with the use of our more modern technologies available to us today. Arguably one of the biggest differences comes with communications. Even the something as recent as the fax machine is all but extinct. Sure faxes are still being sent and received, but the vast majority of the time they are routed through a computer system.
Keeping this in mind, it is important to stay in communication with our customers through whatever devices they are using. Although social media wasn’t originally designed for business use, one cannot deny the vast number of people using these platforms for marketing and communication.
Even though advertising on a social media site is an option, there are still more practical ways to stay in touch with your customers using this platform. Lets look at four different ways that business communications online through social networking are evolving in the business world:
1) CONNECTIONS: Rather than posting information on their products or services, most companies are using social networks as a way of connecting with their customers. Their focus is more on engaging with their clients rather than selling them a product. Instead of posting the low, low price of their newest clearance sale item, many are instead sharing details of something more personal, like photos of their new kitten, Fluffy.
They are also posting about their favorite charity or connection to a social issue they are passionate about, like saving the environment. This builds trust with people who are therefore more likely to do business with you.
2) CAMPAIGNING: Belonging to a social media site is like having your own, personal broadcast network without spending a fortune on more traditional advertising. In the past, customers could take days or weeks to share a positive or negative experience involving a business transaction, while it takes only minutes to accomplish this online.
This gives the company a chance to respond to information quickly and stay in touch with their customers. That way you can acknowledge a compliment or address an issue quickly and more efficiently. If there is a problem, at least you have the ability to remedy the situation and make it publicly known that you are dealing with the dilemma.
3) IMAGE: Connecting with people through these social outlets gives them a more human appearance. Often companies are allowing their employees to blog or post to these sites thereby making them appear more likeable and compassionate.
So forget the old days of trying to keep some kind of unified front showing a polished company image and allow people to see your staff as just that … people. This also builds trust with your clients and will reach others with similar interests.
4) AVAILABILITY: If New York and Las Vegas are the cities that never sleep, then Facebook and Twitter are the places where your business is never closed. People are turning to these networks because they can address a situation on their own terms and at a time that works best for them. Even if the reply isn’t instantaneous, it still happens nonetheless and the customer can get the response whenever they are available to receive it.
There is also something called Earned Social Media where there are strategies in getting people to share your information with others. It is not enough to simply make a post and expect results.
With computer technology taking over the marketplace, more and more people are turning to social media to communicate rather than using something more antique, like a telephone. But no matter how archaic, businesses almost always need to be reached by phone. So can the two be integrated somehow?
The use of a United Communications System can integrate your social media and call center to provide seamless customer service. It also connects agents together through email and text messaging.
The future is here so consider all of your options to stay in contact with your customers.