Management Tips

Why social networks?


Many times I have seen news sections of corporate websites without any update in 2 months or more, sailing erratically in the Internet vast ocean. With social networks business profiles, seems to be ocurring the same. You can see empty business pages on social networks and a lack of strategy.

“Put Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin”: many companies ask their developers to implement the social network functionality on the corporate website, but why? Why are they asking for this functionality if they don’t use it?

Many times, people ask for social network functionality because it’s chic now. When someone with technical knowledge explains the requirements (time and money, as any other project) to establish and develop a good social media strategy, they feel the same sensation if you were telling a child that Santa does not really exist.

“Oh, but I didn’t know that…”: Typical customer’s response. When they ask if you can do it and your answer is: “yes, but it is a project to be defined and it has a cost”, some of them look at you with eyes telling: “Do I have to pay for interacting in Facebook?”. Well, as if working in social networks was a child game. And who says Facebook, says Twitter or Linkedin.

First, know what you want

This demand of profiles on social networks responds to a situation where business don’t have clear objectives for corporate websites. That is the question: knowing the objectives when dealing with a project to create and publish a corporate website.

Classic examples of this kind of objectives are the following:

  • Be known in the world.
  • Show the portfolio: projects, services and products.
  • Establish a contact centre for real and potential customers.
  • Publish news about the company or Industry.
  • Sell products and services.

Social networks are platforms to support the communication processes in any business, through the conversation that takes place in them. Examples:

  • Social networks allow to support the process of communication about the company (publishing information about the company).
  • In the social networks can start the commercial process (when a customer ask for information).

Have we ever thought that social networks can contribute to our processes?

If our customers are in social networks What can we offer?

The first thing is to find our customers in the social networks. Thinking in current customers and potential too. The example of McDonalds and marketing strategy is very remarkable: they know that children will be its next customers, in the future, so they focus part of the strategy in this segment (Ronald McDonald, gifts with the Happy Meals,…).

Assuming we can find a segment of customers in social networks, it’s time to think about what we can offer them. It must be valuable, not spam or irrelevant information. The functions that allow in social networks to hide or block the spam profiles can turn off in just one click profiles that do not add value. Who will you be speaking for then?

Next task is plan, plan and plan: Objectives, scope, resources, milestones, time, cost,… This is a project and it requires management and control, to determine if objectives are being achieved or not, and in this case, apply a new strategy to achieve it.

How many businesses do you know working on social networks this way?

Link | Working in the cloud: All advantages?
Imagen | Johan Larsson