Further, Faster, Cheaper, Deeper: The Efficiency of Social Media
The following piece is focused on breaking the benefits of social media technology down to the most basic and simple form, intended to be a starting point for novices and a beacon for veterans. For more in depth strategies on building your brand on social, read our Social Media Pocket Guide.
It blows my mind that there are still people out there who have a hard time grasping why they should use social media both in and out of the workplace. Yes, there are a few issues surrounding social media, such as privacy and the potential to impinge on productivity, but like everything else, it’s all a matter of how you use it. If you only put out there what you are cool with the world knowing, and if you use it responsibly, those issues are moot, so let’s proceed as if we’re all using social media in a responsible fashion. Cool? Cool.
I once heard my father, the wisest man I’ve ever known and one of the most highly esteemed attorneys in the country, tell a jury something I’ve never forgotten; the truth is simple, and only when superfluous details are added does the truth become complicated and unclear. Therefore, if we always work from a place of truth, the other details can’t sway us.
Why is that important? Well, as we, the marketers and news tellers, dive ever more deeply into the expanding realms of possibility with social media, it’s important that we keep a firm grip on the core benefits (truths) provided by this medium and the technology that enables brands to participate. This will prevent the extraneous details from clouding these core benefits and diverting your team from their objectives.
What is the core of social media for business? First, let’s agree on two things:
Three primary pillars of social media are:
Technology is an evolving resource that allows humans to operate more efficiently, and efficiency includes going:
If we can agree on those two premises, let’s look at how social media technology facilitates content creation, engagement, and analytics more efficiently than any technology.
- Gather from and publish to the entire computer-using planet
- Reach new audiences when people share your content socially with their networks
- Real-time content sourcing and publishing
- Internal workflows completed in a fraction of the time
- Save budgets on people, time, and material to create and manage content
- Gain insights about the performance of brand and user content
- Unearth trends relevant to your company and audience
- Have a dialogue with a global audience
- Create one-to-many conversations about topics that matter to your brand
- Communicate with consumers in real-time
- Save on travel, focus groups, events, etc.
- Allow the audience to speak freely since we’re all more comfortable being honest online without the discomforts of speaking in-person
- Track global activity
- Understand message performance at the brand and local level
- Real-time data flows 24/7
- Instant access to results enables quick iteration and strategic shifts
- Data from all social networks can be aggregated and analyzed from one single location, saving on time and resources to gain those insights
- You’ve got an always-on focus group - harness organic conversations to understand your audience.
- Gain insights around individual pieces of content, social accounts, and conversations, to the social ecosystem as a whole
- Understand your team’s performance
Without a doubt, social media allows businesses to create and manage content, engage with their audience, and have proof of their performance more efficiently than any other technology. So whether you’re a brand looking to manage your social accounts and create content for your digital properties, or you’re a media network looking to provide the most real-time and relevant information, or you’re in sports looking to do both, social media allows all departments within your company to do their job more efficiently.