Social media marketing receives most of the attention, but there are other powerful applications for social media technologies outside of marketing. Let’s have a look at how social media can be used to monitor your brand’s reputation, improve customer service and attract employees who are a good fit for your organization.
For organizations new to social media, monitoring their online reputation can serve as a good place to start. There are conversations already taking place in the social sphere about your industry and possibly your organization. Monitoring social channels and using Google Alerts can let you know what is being said about your organization so you can respond appropriately.
In addition, there are a host of tools such as Topsy, Social Mention, Hootsuite, Radian 6 and others that offer various levels of sophistication in terms of monitoring capabilities. Businesses who still claim that their customers are not on social media and use this excuse not to get into the social media arena, really have no idea whether this is true because they aren’t listening to the discussions in this space.
As many consumers have moved to social media channels as a preferred medium of communication it only makes sense that enterprises should offer the option for customers to interact with them via social media. Twitter is probably the best choice for this and companies such as Zappos and Southwest Airlines have had success with this approach. This can help to improve customer satisfaction and in some cases, reduce the cost of customer service.
In this context, social recruiting is defined as using social media to find talent and present your organization as an attractive place to work for potential employees. Given that many of your prospective employees can be found on social media, a presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and in some cases Google Plus will help you reach your desired audience.
An often overlooked aspect of social media is its use as a search tool. Using capabilities such as Advanced Search in LinkedIn and Twitter or keyword search in Facebook Groups and Google Plus Communities you can identify potential candidates for your company.
Keep in mind that social media is an amplifier. While all of us have warts, if the level of job satisfaction within your organization is generally low, you will probably have to correct this before tryng to use social media to attract new blood.
On the other hand, if the overall sentiment among your employees is that they enjoy their work environment, social media provides the ideal channel to get this message out.
Employee advocacy can be considered one component of social recruiting in that it involves a strategy to enlist and empower employees as brand ambassadors Employees can share the good news about working in your organization with their networks which can help in your recruitment efforts.
On a related note, smart organizations also make a systematic effort to encourage employees to refer their friends to fill specific job openings. This goes beyond the idea of simply offering a bonus to employees who refer someone who gets hired and stays for at least 6 months. Rather, when you have created a culture that encourages good employees to stay with your business, they are the best judge of who will be a good fit for this culture when recommending their friends to fill job openings.
What do you think? Are you finding value in social media applications beyond marketing?