February 27, 2014

Corporations are no Longer Anti-Social and You Shouldn't be Either

When social media first began to break into the mainstream, the corporate world was largely unmoved by its potential business-related applications. Over the past several years, however, that trend has been almost complete reversed, as some of the largest and most successful companies on the planet have embraced social mediums in a big way.

According to a recent report from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 77 percent of Fortune Magazine’s Fortune 500 companies keep active Twitter accounts, 70 percent maintain Facebook pages and 69 have YouTube accounts. Maintaining profiles on other sites like Instagram (44 percent) and Pinterest (45 percent) is catching on as well.

The report notes that these numbers should be viewed as trend indicators because of the influence such corporate giants have in the business world. While tech companies like Google have predictably large numbers of social media followers, corporations across a number of industries have established a substantial presence. Starbucks is now closing in on six million Twitter followers while Coca Cola is just shy of 80 million likes on Facebook.

"This is a group that now seems comfortable and even excited with its newfound ability to engage its vendors, partners, customers and others in ways that could not have been imagined when most of their corporations began," the report reads. "Judging by the increased use of tools, fans and followers, they are making some very powerful new connections."

Not only are corporations increasingly using social media, they are leveraging the platforms for a purposes. An infographic from Puzzle Marketer shows that 58 percent of corporations use social media for lead generation, while 74 percent saw an increase in website traffic after investing as little as six hours per week on social sites.  

Now that billion-dollar enterprises have joined the ranks of the socially involved, all doubts about the usefulness of social media in business should be erased for companies of all sizes. Whether you need to publicize a new offering, engage customers for product feedback, or make special promotional offers to attract new prospects, chances are your company can extract some benefits from social media.

If you are already using social media and aren’t getting the results you had hoped for, fret not: There are experts out there who can help you customize your strategy for maximum return. You may be posting engaging content but doing it too infrequently, or you may be missing your target audience without realizing it. Whatever the issue, consulting with a leader in the space is never a bad idea.

So as you take notice of how some of the business giants have made use of these social platforms, think about how your business could best use them as well. Existing customers and new prospects are out there waiting to be engaged—go out and meet them.


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