How new social media tools may be used to distribute information to consumers
Companies have a range of options on how they can get consumers to receive vital information. The first one is often employed by those organizations that are new to social media tools and this is through direct marketing. Here, they may opt to copy formats that are synonymous to their respective company blogs and by doing so they may provide crucial information about company releases or web pages. This method may be tricky because it sometimes makes customers quite weary of a certain organization. To this end, one may have to employ other methodologies that actually move away from such directness. For instance, instead of just praising oneself about one’s products, companies can place customer testimonials such that others can read them and become interested in products. Through You Tube, a very interesting video on the organization can be posted; this can contain the products or services that are on offer within the concerned company. This may be a forum for interacting with consumers and instructing them on how best to use one’s commodities or services and a question and answer forum is actually quite plausible. Alternatively, there is always the option of utilizing one’s employees as way of getting information out about a certain organization. In this regard, an employee can either tweet or create a facebook account where they talk about how they enjoy their jobs. In other words, such employees may discuss certain issues that are arising in the organization such as the growth of a new branch or the creation of better company policies. This makes potential consumers realize that there is a human face towards a certain firm and that the organization is actually impartial when utilizing such a media platform. Consumers can therefore learn about some of the industry developments or various issues that surround a respective firm. (Turban et al, 2008)
Companies can also be able to employ such methodologies in the process of assessing and understanding what consumers are looking for. In this regard social media tools like You Tube and twitter can be track whatever is being said about a certain organization by its clientele and hence necessary changes made in their response.
Giving information about the industry that one may be operating in is another way that organizations can use in order to get information out to their clients. By appearing to give helpful hints about other products other than one’s own, then a company may actually seem legitimate to potential consumers and this heightens their credibility and hence their business outcomes.
How to determine the best tools to use
Some social networking websites do not enjoy as much mileage or membership as others. For instance, it has been shown that membership across Twitter is much less than in facebook. Consequently, if a business’ goal is to get their information out to as many people as possible, then they need to watch out for the most expansive social media tools. Alternatively, some tools may be quite common in certain countries, continents or regions and may virtually be unheard of in others. Businesses must watch out for those popular tools and link this with the geographical setting of their target audience or their consumer base. Nonetheless, one should not just consider numbers because on facebook, individuals may simply know that company representative and may not be interested in the products or business on offer. Conversely, people may follow a twitter because they are really interested in that product.
When a business is concerned about conveying information out to consumers, then they would be better off employing a social media tool that can easily expose the promotion and in this case facebook or You Tube are better than twitter. On the other hand, if a firm is actually interested in having personal conversations with their clients then twitter would be more appropriate as this would make them more engaged with them.
If consumers are already aware about a certain product, then it would be more appropriate to look for those social tools that are actually able to track what their saying and twitter would be the better choice here. The shelf life for videos on You Tube is actually quite short and consumers can easily forget about what they had watched about a month ago. However, when making discussions, it would be more appropriate to look for a forum that requires thought and depth such as twitter. (Turban et al, 2008)
The time that a business has available to them is critical in deciding which tools are more appropriate than others. For instance, when one does not possess the time to make a catchy viral ad, then You Tube may not be the way to go. Furthermore, if one does not possess the time to keep making updates then twitter would not be appropriate; quick solutions in this case would be through facebook.
Ethical issues involved in social media and how to address them
Security concerns are an important issue to watch out for when utilizing new social media tools. Because most social networking websites are based on referring others to another’s work, the line can sometimes be crossed during the use of intellectual property. Sometimes software can be copied illegally or piracy may take place. This is especially a pressing issue for You Tube which specializes in movies and videos. Organizations taking this path need to be fully aware of the fact that security breaches can occur and that information available via these new social tools needs to be carefully analyzed before being posted. (Genova, 2009)
Credibility through such media platforms also takes on different dimensions. People who use twitter, facebook and you tube have grown weary of traditional approaches to marketing. Consequently, when a business appears to directly market their products then consumers may take that negatively and companies may find that their credibility has been put into questions. Furthermore, product reviews can sometimes harm rather than promote a company’s image and in order to counter this, businesses must look for smart but sensitive ways of responding to such comments.
Many customers often end up giving very confidential information to businesses and this must be safeguarded in order to maintain their trust and hence cause them to come back for more business. Furthermore, even simple issues such email addresses need to be protected by seeking for consumer consent prior to disseminating or displaying that contact information to the public. Youtube, facebook, twitter and other social networking websites may provide a new avenue for prodding into the lives of others. Employees, employers and consumers must be aware of these facts whenever they opt to interact or communicate through these different methods.(Roebuck and Britt, 2006)
Lastly, companies need to be aware that the rules have changed when it comes to the process of maintenance of the company reputation. In other words, they need to be tactful when promoting their items or talking about them because directness is not appreciated. Furthermore, certain methods of advertising are more effective than others and the more precise and unique an advertisement is the more likely the company’s reputation will be maintained. Several discussions on You Tube have been started discussing or hating particular companies simply because those organizations tend to bombard them with long ads that consumers are not even interested in.
New social media tools are crucial ways of promoting how organizations carry out businesses. In this regard, ample consideration should be given to ethical issues. Furthermore, when picking on the most appropriate platform, it would be wise to rethink one’s business goals. This should also be backed by an assessment of the target audience and the time/ information being disseminated. Possibilities of engaging with one’s consumers should also be seriously considered.
Roebuck, D. & Britt, D. (2006). Improving business communication skills. NY: Prentice hall.
Turban, E., King, D., McKay, J., Marshall, P., Lee, J., & Viehland, D. (2008). Electronic commerce 2008: A managerial perspective (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Genova G. (2009). No place to play. Business communication quarterly.