Are you social yet?
Social networking is becoming a prevalent part of everyday life and is changing the way we communicate, just as the mobile phone, Internet and e-mail did in the 90s. Already established as a valuable tool for the individual, social networking applications are increasingly being integrated into the business.
In fact, social networking has become a mainstream business tool in South Africa, with 43% of businesses having successfully used social networks to win new business, according to a global survey commissioned by Regus.
People are engaging more and more in social media to make buying decisions and businesses need to ensure they participate in these spaces.
Social media can be used to build customer and partner relationships, engage customers and partners in new ways and generate revenue opportunities. If not already in place, social media tools should become a fundamental part of your company`s digital strategy.
The size and type of business will determine what social media tools your organisation will use and which are most relevant. From blogs and wikis to videoconferencing and social networks, there are many to choose from. But it is important to determine an approach and start somewhere.
Businesses planning to implement social media tools need to bear in mind that the major implementation issues are not technical. While you might need to make some infrastructure changes to better accommodate the social media tool, for example, increasing bandwidth for videoconferencing, there are a number of technologies and services available to assist you and best meet your needs. Plus, most of these technologies can be easily integrated with existing software and applications.
When choosing what social media tools to integrate into your organisation, bear in mind that different people use different mediums to communicate based on their personalities and social interaction needs. Be aware of people`s preferences and try to be as accommodating as possible, but also keep the requirements of your organisation in mind. Determine what will work best for your company as well as your audiences, and implement those tools that are best for both.
Once you have decided which social media tools work best for your company and customers, have a look at the technologies available. There are many products and services; it`s a case of choosing that which suits your requirements.
If necessary, ask for assistance from your reseller or distributor. They will be able to help you choose the correct technology to successfully participate in social networking.