How To Use Social Media Effectively

social mediaSocial media can be useful for every part of your business.

It’s not and should not be used solely as a tool for self-promotion. If you do that you’ll be about as popular as a skunk in a broken lift.

In the good old days the only way customers could get in touch with you was by phone or letter. If they were disgruntled they would moan to their friends about your service and products and you’d probably be none the wiser.

But now, they won’t just talk to their friends. Social media has given them an incredibly loud voice so if they’re unhappy about something, it won’t be long before the whole world knows about it.

How to use social media to your advantage

Monitoring social media channels can help practically every part of your business.

People love to talk and if you listen carefully you can learn a lot about their habits, their likes, their dislikes and their needs.

1. Sales

So let’s take a look at how social media can help your sales department.

The ideal time to sell to someone is when they’re ready to buy. But that’s not easy. Say you were a local electrical retailer and were looking to push a new line of washing machines. Monitoring social media channels will help you identify people who are asking advice about which washing machine to buy or those who are moaning because theirs has just broken etc.

By responding, making contact and offering advice puts you in the right place at the right time – when they’re ready to buy.

2. Marketing

Can it help with marketing?

Oh yes. Listening to your target market will give you an idea of whether what you’re saying and what they think are aligned. Do your marketing materials answer the questions they raise? Are you speaking the same language as them?

Many companies have the odd idea that they have to speak in a language all of their own. Their words have to sound impressive and convoluted – they think that’s what their customers will be impressed by.

Wrong. Customers want straight talking. If you’re a window cleaner call yourself that rather than a vision technician.

3. Customer service

As for customer service, that one speaks for itself.  I’ve already mentioned how useful social media is for disgruntled customers so make sure you’re listening. If someone has received bad service, make contact straight away and put it right.

This rapid response shows you as a company that cares about its customers. So you could turn a bad situation to your advantage.

4. Development

You’ve probably got your R&D boffins locked away somewhere trying to come up with ways to improve your products.

But surely it’s your customers you should be listening to?

Social media channels will let you eaves drop on their conversations about what they would really like your products to do. You can even ask them directly to do a bit of customer research.

5. Human resources

Yes, social media can even help your HR department.


Well social media users have profiles showing their skills and experience. You can search for specific talent that your company needs. You can even see what connections they have. Head hunting has never been so easy.

So as you can see, social media can help practically every aspect of your business. These online channels are a direct link between you and your customers so use them.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter, blogger and social media addict.

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