Increasing Business Value

Business Value of Social Media and Crowdsourcing

How much value does social media actually add to a business

We all know how social media has a big impact on businesses in today economy but does it actually make a difference to the operation of your business?

Sean Gardner (@2morrowknightSocial media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence”

It’s almost impossible to imagine a life before social media, Facebook and Twitter have been around for less than a decade however I find myself struggling to remember the times i spent on the internet not looking at this websites. As businesses look back over this short amount of time, they can easily see how these sites are changing the way they do business. Business professionals use these social media sites to network, interact with customers, and bring a new dynamic with how they interact and bring their team members together.social-media-revolution

Social Media is a undoubtable a great tool for any business however it has the ability to divide and destroy industries, with outdated companies falling behind their competitors. Social media can be a distraction for majority of the workforce, quickly diminishing employee productivity throughout the day, but it can also be a way to open up opportunities that would never have existed in the past time. This the current day and age social media is a effective tool for any business.

As businesses continue to try to redesign themselves in this new technology-driven environment, customers are crucial to those changes. While a director may not be required to spend all day tweeting or posting insightful and motivational comments on Facebook, it is important that they consider the value of social media to their business.

Do you think a director will need to consider how many complaints or praise came through via Twitter last month? Which company posts on Facebook received the most “likes” or “shares?” Do the customers react better to quotes or pictures?

I think using these tools are essential as the Directors can use this information to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors

Crowdsourcing

What is Crowdsourcing? First we must understand this term the oxford dictionary defines crowdsourcing as : obtain (information or input into a particular task or project) by enlisting the services of a number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the Internet.

social-media-revolution-2What does this mean for my business? Is this something that I should be worried about to gain business value?

Whether you like it or not, you are either crowdsourcing or being sourced. The information we are generating in a big data world is starting to funnel into specific areas of interest to companies and people. And it’s only going to get bigger as technology advances.

You need to know just how crowdsourcing actually works. It starts with your overall business objective and your target audience. The better the story you pitch, the more likely you will receive effect feedback and buy in from your audience. I recommend you spend majority of your time crafting an genuine story, and how it clearly ties back to your business or product. How did your experience lead your to coming up with this idea? How did a tragic or terrific time in your life inspire the need to change it for others? People innately look to connect with others on a personal level and with those who share their own personal values.

This approach gives better insight to a company or person about the overall level of interest in what they’re offering to their audience. It’s almost like market research that actually pays you in the end. The level of support you get for a project can be used to determine overall supply and demand, and help you figure out the best strategies to move forward and grow your business.

Building a online community by crowdsourcing has massive value when your brand or product has an authentic value and story behind it. You’ll collect an insider audience of buyers eager to talk about it, share it and be a part of your brand for life. This will expand your  product and increase the footprint your business has in the online environment.

 Bonnie Sainsbury (@bsainsbury“Social media will help you build up loyalty of your current customers to the point that they will willingly, and for free, tell others about you.”

Issues and Challenges of Social Media

How to take your business “Online”

How do i go about marketing my business on Social Media ? Do i need additional Staff to ensure my business goals effective? Some of the questions that have been on my brain today. I have been thinking more and more about the implications and challenges of social media as I’m writing not only an Assignment but this ongoing blog about social media.

Im left wondering what is actually needed to get the social media aspects of your business online?

“All one needs is a computer, a network connection, and a bright spark of initiative and creativity to join the economy.” -Don Tapscott

Issues Surrounding Social Media

I have decided to investigate 2 main areas around the issues and challenges of social media that I feel are key to any business using social media:

  1. Managing the time taken to effectively use social media
  2. Hiring dedicating staff to manage social media relations

Managing the time taken to effectively use social media

Social-Media-Time-Consuming-ClockSocial media is one of those things that small business owners know they need to do, but they are not quite sure how to find the time to do it. As commented earlier you don’t need to necessarily be the most tech-savvy person to effectively maintain a effective social media presence. A few key steps to effectively manage time spent on maintaining the social media aspect of your business could be:

  • Have a Plan of Attack

Research and find out where your customers and prospects are having conversations and where your business can add value.This will help your business reach its target audience and also grow in the right area of the social media environment. Google alerts or other such apps are effective in achieving this

  • Don’t worry about perfection in every post. 

Start by listening and learning from others, Research into other companies operating close to your business will help you understand what traction is needed to grow your business in the social media environment. As your confidence grows you will become more confident and can become more effective with your time management.

  • Master one Social Media Tool at a time. 

It is much better to be effective using one social media tool than to use five of them poorly. Choose the tool based on where most of your customers and prospects are, this will be important while your confidence is still growing and your will effectively reach your target audience.

  • Dedicated Time to Social Media.

If you can only spend one hour a week, consistently manage your time so that you meet this expectation. This is a much better strategy than spending 2 hours one day and then 5 minutes the next week. Your target audience will likely respond better to consistent and effective social media use.

Extra Staff to manage social Media Relations

great-social-media-manager

Does it make sense for a small business to hire someone to manage the businesses social media presence?

Absolutely, small businesses should work with someone on social media. It’s not as clear-cut as posting every other day or sending a few tweets every other tuesday, to keep your audience entertained and engaged. You must develop a game plan, and then follow it through with the appropriate actions.

Effective use of social media combines excellent customer service, expertise in the market, dependable and engaging content, and the delight of engaging with your audience online. Social-media presence must also reflect a company’s advertising, marketing and public-relations strategies.

In an ideal situation it would be far better for one person or team to handle public relations, marketing, advertising and the social media aspect. This helps keep the message or campaign cohesive and consistent. However, that can become pricey and isn’t necessarily attractive for most budgets, especially small businesses which are a huge part of the NZ economy.

If separate departments are used then it is particularly important to ensure both departments have oversight, this will ensure the message and campaign objectives are met.

“The best way to engage honestly with the marketplace via Twitter is to never use the words “engage,” “honestly,” or “marketplace.” ― Jeffrey Zeldman