Social Media: What does it mean for business?

by ‎11-24-2010 05:22 PM - edited ‎12-09-2010 09:23 AM

Social Media - It’s a term that has become firmly entrenched in this generation’s everyday life. But what does it mean for business? And more importantly, how are businesses leveraging this platform to their advantage?

Probably the easiest step into Social Media for a company to take is to write a blog. It’s a great way to communicate the personality of your company and speak about something that you’re a subject matter expert on. You can be irreverent or technical - it’s all about how you want people to perceive your company and its people. One company that’s done a great job to engage customers with their brand through blogging is Kodak’s A Thousand Words blog the combination of pictures (obviously) and articles perfectly captures the company.

Taking it a little bit further, letting customers generate their own content for your site opens you up to a whole new level of opportunities. Starbucks has implemented one of my favourite Social Media initiatives with their My Starbuck’s Idea site. As a brand with millions of loyal supporters, Starbucks opens the forum for their customers to suggest ideas to improve the business and other members can vote on their favourite suggestions. Thousands of ideas have been submitted and over 100 user-generated concepts have actually been implemented by Starbucks to date.

The next wave is to use social media as a business tool, CRM software company Salesforce has recently launched Chatter. Essentially it’s a platform that uses social media functionality to enable better collaboration at work. People working across the company have status updates, profiles and even groups (think project-based) enabling easier interaction between employees and a familiar, ‘tried and true’ platform/interface to work with.

At Telstra Business, we see social media as another way we can connect with our customers not only to share knowledge and business insights but also to hear your thoughts and create a community that where it’s not just about you and Telstra, but also interacting with other like-minded customers. That’s why we’ve launched this site and want to encourage you all to contribute to it.

With that in mind – who else is using Social Media well for their business? Any thoughts on how other business owners can leverage this platform for their companies? If you use social media for your business, what for and how has it helped or hindered?


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