Social media is an integral part of today’s society. While the title itself is ‘social’, the workforce can strongly benefit from its popularity, easy access, wide reach and fast communication. Social media can seem underutilized in a work setting but its popularity has demanded that companies keep up with it to stay ahead.
The popularity of social media is one of its greatest assets to businesses. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have gained such a vast following that people from all generations use them and their fame is not limited to one specific region. Additional benefits of social media in the workforce are the means of nearly instantaneous international communication. Companies have the advantage of being able to reach a wider audience at faster rates than ever before. But the biggest advantage that social media platforms provide is their trending capabilities. Popular topics and current events are constantly trending and changing on these platforms, keeping consumers and businesses in the know. Social media helps with up to date contact.
Ease of use is what makes social platforms so great. They’re easily adaptable and customizable to fit any businesses’ needs. Teaching these techniques to employees is also easy since most employees are already familiar with the use of these platforms. However, one does not need to be fluent in social media. The fundamentals are simple and easily adaptable to the skill level of the employee. Exposure to social media allows employees to learn more, creating more confidence in posting. The social nature of various platforms lets employees create a good voice for the product or business while also making it more reachable for consumers.
Social media platforms have made it easy to pass along consumer information and open dialogues with consumers. The number of ‘followers’ a company has on social media helps with research data, surveying and consumer research. It offers a direct look into demographic profiles and also a direct line to consumers; consumers can now talk directly to someone associated with that product or business when looking for further information. Social media’s direct outlet to consumers also helps to handle any negative feedback in a timely manner. Getting opinions on current products is also quicker. Direct feedback from consumers can help to find and fix flaws faster and more efficiently than before. Customers are ready to talk about things they like; they are just waiting for businesses to catch up.
These characteristics shows the benefits of social media as a whole. Each platform does offer its own benefits, each unique in their own way. Many of these platforms even have facets specifically for businesses:
Widely known as the king of social media, this titan was essentially the start of social sharing popularity. The thing that has kept Facebook at the top is its ability to adapt to changing demands of its users; a skill that other sites could not master and were consequently left behind.
For the work force, Facebook offers a variety of features that make it a must have for businesses. A standard Facebook page is an easy thing to do for smaller business. Since organizations began creating the pages, more advanced options have been created through the platform. Facebook for Business officially launched in 2013. This new component has made marketing and socialization easier for bigger businesses. Whereas smaller businesses can get by with standard Facebook pages, easily reaching their audience through those means. Facebook for Business allows bigger companies and franchises to easily market, communicate and advertise with their audience. All around, using Facebook for your business, big or small, creates ease: ease of communication to customers, ease of access to marketing and advertising, and all in one place.
Much like Facebook, this platform is mainly used as a communication channel. The thing that sets Twitter apart though is the use of hashtags, or phrases that are used in posts to get that topic “trending”. The top trending topics are featured on the international homepage of the site, for everyone to see what is the most popular. Unlike Facebook, Twitter makes trending topics much easier to find and search.
While Twitter has many great qualities that make it a suitable resource, it does have some downfalls to contest with. An issue with Twitter that can be both good and bad is the character limits. A single post must be within 140 characters including spacing. This makes it difficult to say everything that you may want or need to say. The upside to this is the direct, to-the-point posts that your customers will see.
In the age of social media, sites like LinkedIn are unique. They are laid out to specifically be for businesses and linking potential clients and candidates to relevant groups. There is a sharing aspect there, though it is fairly restricted to corporate related topics. LinkedIn is a good platform for Business to Business interaction.
As far as business to consumer, LinkedIn is not a great communication channel to reach a wide outer audience. As stated before, this platform can help potential clients and candidates to perspective employers or groups that would benefit them. But this platform is better suited to connecting on a Business to Business level rather than a Business to Consumer.
With its adaptation of now having video, Instagram has built itself up to become one of the social giants. It allows you to easily and globally interact with customers. The primarily visual component of the site seems like it would make marketing easier, however that just means businesses need to be more strategic in how they market products.
Another site that focuses mainly on visuals, YouTube is actually the second most popular search engine after Google. Before you get confused, many of its features make YouTube qualify as a social media outlet. Commenting, sharing, following, known as subscribing for this particular platform; these all define the characteristics of a social media site.
Google+ has been an underrated social platform since its introduction. Users can share with others within your social circle or join other communities to connect. At the moment, it has a big following with tech savvy users. More lightweight users can easily adjust and adapt to the interface. While Google+ is not a big contender for social media, various facets of it are. Google Hangout and its photo application have become the most popular features of this platform. Both are great for businesses to hold virtual meetings and post high quality photos on a free site.
This social sharing site does not meet the normal idea of a social media platform and that could be one of the reasons it has had such success. It’s mainly visual and archival functions make it great for businesses. Promoting pins is easy and now with the introduction of the buy button, buying and selling product has never been easier for customers and businesses. There are a host of reasons that Pinterest is a great tool for businesses.
Social media began as ‘social’ but its advantages are great enough to gain recognition in the corporate world as well. The workforce can benefit greatly from using social media to widen audience reach, encourage employee growth and gather consumer information. The force social media has created will be beneficial for corporations for quite some time.
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