Social Media’s evolution over the past decade has been dynamic, to say this least. First (2004-2006) there was distain; then hype (and explosion of platforms over 2006-2009); then consolidation of the platform winners (2009-2011); and—now (2011, forward)—evolution of a whole ecosystem of technologies, practices and new job roles around these winners:
As a result, companies now have a range of platforms the can employ to use social media to attract customers, drive in-store and online commerce, realize revenue, and gain market share. Some are ideal for consumer-oriented business. Others are better for improving collaboration between business and supply chain partners. Still others can actually improve the success of internal communications, especially for large-scale enterprise systems implementation and business transformation programs.
Selecting the right combination of social media tools and processes can be tricky. More often than not, the social networking solutions that drive the highest return on investment (ROI) are those that with lower “vanity metrics” such as simple counts of Friends or Followers.
Since 2008, our team has helped several dozen brands, businesses, and government agencies use social media—web and mobile—to create tangible benefits:
- Combining user-generated content (UGC) and recommendation technology to dramatically increase advertising and affiliate marketing revenue
- Using crowd-sourcing to capture customer leads, conduct Lean product testing, increase sales conversion and create new affiliate partner cross-sell programs
- Establishing networks that decrease customer churn
- Sharing messaging to customers to reduce the customer support costs (e.g., eliminating call center interaction, fostering practices that reduce insurance and maintenance costs) or drive critical communications (e.g., public health alerts, disaster response)
- Driving flash sales: online and—when used in conjunction with mobile—in-store and at special events (conventions, sports events)
Based on this and other work, our team has developed a proprietary Social and Mobile Networking implementation approach to help companies use social media, mobile social and location services to drive high-ROI results. We would be happy to help you employ this to use social media to your benefit (or improve your current social media operations). We can also teach these approaches to the teams in your company responsible for social media.