The nature of doing business is constantly changing.With the emergence of social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and Tumblr businesses can soar from little known enterprises to giant magnates (For example indie fashion designer ‘Wambui Mukenyi‘ in Kenya whose growth was spurred by Blogger, Nancie Mwai owner of popular style site The Fashion Notebook) that are forces to reckon with. At the same time the explosion of social media has meant the beginning of the end for other business.
These mediums have churned opportunities for companies enabling them to utilize social media for marketing research and sales promotions as well as customer relationship development. Quality, reach, frequency, usability, and immediacy are among the reasons why the use of social media in business has been widely adapted.
The social media bug has not only bitten small businesses but big ones as well. Employees as well as company CEOs have taken to social media. According to Dell President Steve Felice, his biggest advice to CEOs today: “Get social.” That means using every available tool to listen to what employees and customers are saying.
Facebook has helped some business turn into household names seemingly overnight. ‘Fashionpreneur’, a Facebook page chronicling the sale of couture clothing for the working woman has seen sales and clientele soar from mere posting of fashionable photos on the site. The owners of the site say Facebook has given them an edge that their actual physical location in Nairobi’s upmarket Adams Arcade area hadn’t.
According to ‘Mashable.com’, huge corporate entities like Disney and Delta are in the business of selling on Facebook. Disney, for instance, built the Disney Tickets Together Facebook application so that fans could pre-order tickets to Toy Story 3 without leaving the social network.
Vanity, like in most sectors of our personal life has not been left out from social media trends for business. Businesses are looking for numbers on their social media platforms i.e. Vanity metrics. According to the ‘Business Insider’, in 2009, Orbitz was trying to rack up followers by running ticket give-aways for users who agreed to follow and retweet messages from @Orbitz. There was no value accrued to the user just by participating however, the company’s message is bound to get out to the masses if the numbers are right.
Social media is the new ‘go-to’ for businesses looking to stamp their online presence in real time. However, we must have in mind that in spite of all the hype about trends usable on social media platforms, whether a firm is big or small, social media is not a popularity contest but a about return on investment (ROI) and churning THAT social presence online into profits.
Interested in growing your business using social media? check out Inc.com’s social media toolkit for business.