Sunday, May 17, 2009

Small Business Guide to Social Media

Dell is a leader in social media and a good example of the trend towards increased corporate environmental stewardship. Like many other firms, Dell has been hit hard by the global recession. However, despite a halving of profits, Dell's commitment to the environment represents the kind of positioning that can help many companies to weather this historic downturn.

Dell's environmental programs, "conserve product energy consumption, reduce or eliminate materials for disposal, prolong product life span and provide effective and convenient equipment recovery solutions. By streamlining business steps and processes to be as efficient as possible, Dell helps minimize stress on the environment while achieving speed, responsiveness and cost savings that are passed along to customers."

Based on Dell's conversations with customers, they have created a series of social media guides. Each guide includes an overview of the approach, the opportunity, tips for getting started, examples of best practices and case studies.

1. Listening to customers, prospects and influencers is the foundation of all successful social media programs. By listening to online conversations happening in blogs, forums and social networks, you can bring the voices of your customers directly into your organizations.



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2. Many people equate "PR" to "digital PR" or "digital influencer relations." While they are similar in many ways, there are some important nuances to consider. Most importantly, online conversations are much more direct and personal, requiring the highest level of transparency and candor.



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3. Twitter is fairly new to the social media scene, but many companies have already found ways to use it for business, from announcing new products to helping out customers in need.



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4. Crowdsourcing is the process of enabling your customers to play an active role in creating a new product or service, or in some cases, solving a business challenge for your company. Let's face it – our customers know what they want and need better than anyone.



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5. Facebook is the fastest growing social network in the world with more than 100 million active members. Facebook offers a variety of solutions for small businesses to connect with customers and prospects more deeply and leverage the huge, viral potential of this community.



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6. Photos and videos can engage customers and convey more about a company and its people, products and services than text alone. Today, new technologies and Web sites like Flickr and YouTube have made it easier than ever for businesses to produce and share multi-media content.



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7. It's important to understand how a social media program is performing against specific business objectives in order to maximize the impact and justify further investment. The beauty of social media is that it is highly measurable using tools like Google Analytics.



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By following these guides you can use social media to grow your businesses and better serve your customers.
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Next: Shortening Your Sales Cycle With Social Media / Twitter / Social Media and ROI


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1 comment:

Cobb Business Guide said...

Thanks for the heads up! A significant 81% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated exposure for their businesses. Check out Social Media Marketing Report. Improving traffic and growing lists was the second major benefit, followed by building new partnerships.

Cobb County