Seems most businesses are looking at Social Media as a marketing and/or customer service channel. Is this too narrow a view? Is something being missed that could add even more value to the brand than just marketing? Based on our conversations and clients, we think so. What do you think?
The more we read on Social Media from the commercial end, the more we see discussion around relationships to “buzz marketing” and “behavioral marketing”, how monitoring tools relate to these uses. These are, without doubt, highly viable approaches for business to Social Media. But doesn’t engaging in Social Media mean more than just selling products/service?
One excellent application for Social Media is investor relations when it comes to both industry analysts and to retail shareholders. Monitoring forums and blogs for commentary around a stock can elicit vital intelligence to both the PR and IR teams in a company. Engaging in the conversation can help a company to clarify issues around the latest financial statements or product release being discussed by shareholders. What’s the value in this case? protecting the possibility of a sell-off or maintaining a stock price through a difficult financial time. For the company, this means protecting your valuation. This is important if you have institutional investors.
There’s also innovation. By engaging not just customers, but other thought leaders or professionals through Social Media channels, a company can uncover potential innovations for products and services or even how it does business with its suppliers. Uncovering an opportunity to innovate can result in increased margins, a better product that beats the competition or increases market share – all of which contribute to the shareholder value, or even Economic Profit.
What other benefits do you see coming from Social Media? What about Governments? Of course, while the benefits may be there, in the end it also matters what the company/organization does with this intelligence doesn’t it?