How Social Networks Changed the Business World

|May 4|magazine7 min read

Written by Alex Pirouz

 

By 2012, Generation Y will outnumber Baby Boomers and 96 per cent of them will have joined a social network, according to communications firm Socialnomics. This incredible figure represents a colossal opportunity for businesses to capitalise on these social-savvy consumers.

Additionally, a 2010 study by PR firm Burson- Marsteller found that 79 per cent of the 100 largest companies on the Fortune 500 list use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or corporate blogs to communicate with employees, stake holders and most importantly customers. Twitter was the most popular with 65 per cent of Global 100 companies using it as their form of social media communication and marketing.  Over 54 per cent have a Facebook fan page and over 50 per cent have a YouTube channel.

Companies like Toyota, Target, Ford Motor and Sony are among the most successful global brands that use social media to build credibility, keep their clients up to date and most importantly create an open line of communication with their fans.

But knowing the importance of social media is simply not enough, it is through action and execution where you start to truly reap the rewards. Creating a social media marketing campaign is much similar to creating an offline campaign with a few differences here and there.

The fundamentals of social media come down to adding value, educating and listening to what your clients have to say. Creating a successful and powerful online social media presence does require time and a certain level of expertise and strategic thinking. Companies should follow these tips to develop their social media marketing campaigns:

  1. Keep an eye on your social media channels ALL THE TIME. Always keep Twitter, Facebook and YouTube open on your browser, monitoring your own brand’s accounts as well as your competitor’s.
  2. Get your entire company involved with business’s social media campaign. Each employee should have a professional Facebook and Twitter account and be aware of the company’s social media strategy.
  3. Develop a social media campaign that fits in within the company’s overall business goals, including resources and budgets.
  4. Constantly measure your social media channels, from tracking numbers of followers to the number of comments the company receives on a weekly basis.
  5. Get personal. Create content that meets your stakeholders’ needs, rather than being too promotional.

Stats:

  1. 65% of the Fortune Global 100 companies have active Twitter accounts, 54% have Facebook fan pages, 50% have YouTube video channels and 33% have corporate blogs
  2. 54% of the Fortune Global 100 companies have active Facebook accounts
  3. 50% of the Fortune Global 100 companies have active YouTube channels
  4. 33% of the Fortune Global 100 companies have corporate blogs
  5. 90% of blogs with posts had comments from stakeholders
  6. Most companies that use Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have multiple accounts