An enterprise is any business or company, and the goal of a business is to make money (unless non-profit). All measures are executed with the caveat that they directly or indirectly (short-term or long-term) result in profits for stakeholders.
A social community is a gathering of like-minded members online. Some popular social communities are LinkedIn, Reddit, Flickr, Quora, WhatsApp and Google Plus. Members of these communities can blend and some sites may not be relevant to your business.
Four Ideas from Nimble Social Communities that your Enterprise can Implement
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow easy sharing of images, text, links and videos. Enterprises have a vast array of knowledge locked up within their internal systems They can transmit this knowledge to employees or allow the sharing of relevant information with the outside community.
To make this knowledge sharing easier, companies can add intuitive search fields or share buttons to their intranet pages along with options for sharing to other social sites. Your enterprise’s website and Social media pages should not only be used to promote products, but also to share useful content with visitors, receive feedback and resolve issues relating to the product or service.
Businesses can obtain better insights and accurate expectations about their product or service from employees, customers, vendors, prospects and partners. Use well-designed polls, quizzes, webinars and free offers to get more newsletter & marketing opt-ins, interested beta testers and product reviewers, etc. Your website or blog should host meaningful content and not just promotional material. You will start losing followers if you begin to do only the sales pitch all over the site or page. Promoting products is what your Ads are for. Instead ask questions, reply to their comments, invite them for a coffee (if within the vicinity of your office) or email them a useful link or video.
Facebook and Twitter are two of the social media giants that companies use to connect with prospects. Both these sites boast a wide variety of users and you can appeal to a large community. Quora, StackOverflow, forums and product review sites like Capterra or G2 Crowd which your potential customers frequent are avenues to learn about competition or pitch your product or service in a subtle fashion.
Use the internet to reach out to customers and learn what they think about your product. It helps companies to be aware of the problems so they can then go on to mitigate or eliminate the complaints. Businesses can also find out the perceived goodwill for their products and services and work towards leveraging that in future.
Social Media offers an easy way for companies to interact with their customers. Trending stories are online before they are even covered in the news channels or written about on paper. The internet has been the go-to place for live updates about things, and smartphones allow you to access the internet from pretty much anywhere. Companies are focusing more on their online campaigns than on their TV and paper ads. I believe this is the right strategy to be adopted.
Nurture the Brand
Create a marketing campaign – a video, meme, or jingle on YouTube or Facebook. If it goes viral, you saved a ton of advertising dollars for the company. Design a style guide for your company that makes it easy for everybody to follow, and brings consistency to your marketing and sales collateral, both social and direct – font, colors, logo, theme, etc.
There are instances where companies tried too hard to push a product or service but it failed and resulted in backlash from the community at large. Customers will usually tell others if your product is bad than if it is good. If it is your fault, do not worry, you can still salvage the brand. Have your people solve the problem as quickly as possible, offer a well-meaning apology, and/or compensate the customer. This way you might get lauded for quick service rather than berated for a faulty product.
Enterprises will gain a lot through this learning from social communities. This crowd cannot be brushed off anymore. Online usage is growing at a rapid pace and you can ignore it only at your peril. The overlap of social and business is here to stay. Give your stakeholders the same experience they get from their social communities.