Is Social Media the Holy Grail of Business Development?

In today’s economy, most organizations are feeling the crunch and seeking new ways to elevate their visibility on the web, in communities and marketplaces, in order to help grow their customer-base.

We have learned how to leverage social media applications to, not only do just that, but also help organizations sharpen their strategic focus and strengthen their inner core while delivering higher value to their employees, stakeholders and customers.

So, the question, “Is social media the holy grail of business development?” In many ways the answer is yes, and in some ways, definitely not. However, the question might better serve us, in helping reach an understanding posed as, “How much impact can be made by the strategic planning and use of social media for businesses and organizations?” By trying to answer this question, many of the efforts put forth towards business growth and development, strategic planning, leadership, and team development can be integrated and redundant efforts reduced or eliminated. Want to buy Instagram views? Then proper search should be done at the social networking sites. The charges or rates should be paid after checking the rankings and reviews of the product. The promotion of the products will be effective for increasing the profit. 

With advertising having credibility with only 17% of the population and social media users like facebook comprising the equivalent of the world’s third most populous country, and with 4 generations in the workforce, a lot is changing in tomorrow’s economy, and at rates faster that can be posted on Youtube

Never before have marketing, internal communications, organizational development and HR been so closely entwined as in the corporate use of social media. In one unified process, markets can be reached and engaged; constituents, members and employees can be involved in two-way core and brand building communications; strategic plans can be aligned and implemented; Leaders and teams collaborate; and themes for employee development, training and retention can be heard and met in real time.

I stumbled upon this remarkable convergence while helping a client with the strategic use of social media and discovered they were getting strategic planning and core organizational development services from me at the same time, for free! It was the obvious potential for open “web 2.0” source applications to accomplish many objectives at once, that helped with this realization. An action oriented model that engages team members in social media based projects, can at the same time, accomplish man y professional and business development goals. But back to your problem of building your business:

Some of the brass tacks of a businesses buildingprocess may include the flowing steps:

1) Before a firm seeks to elevate their web presence, a disciplined approach must be developed, decided upon, and be mutually committed to.

2) This approach must guide all actions to follow.

3) The approach must be guided by the firm’s vision, values, mission, and principles; in short-its’ CORE.

4) An implementation strategy determining and using the right applications reflective of the goals to be achieved.

5) Social media site profiles that are consistent with the firm’s core and resonate with the intended audiences and communities.

6) Strictly brand-managed messaging that adds value, is respectful of the “social” media environment, positions the firm as an online subject authority, and does fill up the channel with noise. Sical media is a form of permission marketing, not interruption marketing.

7) Learn how engaging internal constituents and “brand ambassadors” helps tell your story.

8) Learn how engaging customers and/or members elevates visibility and credibility.

9) Create effective and adequate “link-juice”, searchable words, and meta-tags on the company website, and several other key search engine optimizing features.

10) The starting point to map a process may be somewhere in the middle.

11) Be a learning organization.

12) Engage experts to help you get started on the right foot and save time, money, resources and reputation.

What kind of company or organization should engage a social media consultant?

1) Established small and medium sized firms (5 to 20+ year companies) often have the most competitive advantages except for one: market visibility. In just a few years, traditional marketing has shrunk and migrated to the digital environment. A new virtual universe of speed and agility has eclipsed long planned, tried and proven print and multi-media advertising campaigns. For example, craigslist alone has virtually killed classified newspaper advertising. Many firms are trying to figure what happened and what to do about it. A small social media consultancy can help bridge the knowledge gap and get these highly qualified organizations and professionals back on top where they belong.

To caution the smaller business entrepreneur: many employees, relatives and friends will know how to set-up a facebook page, twitter account, or blog. While these skills may be helpful during implementation phases, it is not to be confused with a strategic web-based marketing campaign.

Remember, what happens in Vegas, on Facebook, stays in Vegas on Facebook.

2) New companies, start-ups.

3) While many firms are younger, and may possess the acumen for widely used social media tools, a strategic discipline for the use of these tools is vital.

4) Many larger firms have dedicated social media teams that occasionally consult outside research and consulting firms to help widen their aperture.

The key questions always start with a problem: “what do we need?” Followed by,” how do we get there?” While each firm’s position is unique, there are some democratized tools out there in the new web universe that can help anyone get from here to there, if used correctly.