As another year ends, we’re amazed at the major changes we’ve seen in technology and social media. The emergence of mobile was predicted and is here, the evolution of social media has happened and the future of e-commerce is more exciting than ever before.
There are many trends at the intersection of technology and social media. Whether we’re talking about mobile marketing, lead development, real time search or the increase in social media war-rooms. We’re already beginning to see the impact that this combination will have on business as a whole. Whether it’s through the development of innovative new companies or the opportunity for existing businesses to leverage technology to maximize their social media efforts – The future is here.
Businesses, marketers, executives and managers are witnessing some of the most exciting times in business history. For the first time in many years, organizations large and small are recognizing the importance of embracing change in the way we communicate with customers and each other. Social media is about to reach its tipping point. And now, more than ever, executives have to make a conscious decision to make the jump.
According to a report on Social Media & Canadian Executives from Queens School of Business; only 35% of executives believe that social media presents a great opportunity for their business and currently uses social media in their existing operations. Yet, 82% are actively using social media personally on a regular basis to stay connected and in the know. When asked what they believed the key benefits of using social media was their answer leaned heavy towards brand awareness.
Surprisingly, only 14% believed that social media presented an opportunity for new business growth and development. The reality is however, social media is driving business success for many large and small businesses around the world. Starbucks for example, has developed an entire social experience that is built around having customers tell them what they can do better to improve their business. People are encouraged to visit MyStarbucksIdea and share their thoughts and ideas on what new drinks Starbucks should introduce and what types of rewards perks they should offer. Furthermore, they have integrated social media throughout the entire process to encourage sharing and virality. This type of engagement leads to loyal customers and loyal customers lead to a thriving business.
Another great example of a business using social media to drive success is Fab. Now this is an internet business but their approach to social media is one that can be replicated by most business models. Their approach is simple; provide quality customer service and share information about upcoming and existing sales. By building a following and then sharing updates about product, they have developed a new lead generation system for their organization.
As we move into a new year, there are two key reasons why C-Suite Executives need to embrace social media:
1. Know Your Customers Better
For the first time in history, businesses have an opportunity to understand their customers better than ever before. Organizations, large and small now have an opportunity to identify and capitalize on knowing what customers want before they want it. Furthermore, businesses have an opportunity to use channels like ours to identify customers with purchase intent in real-time. From there, a simple review of previous tweets, mentions and experiences allow organizations to have a bond with their customers.
2. Meaningful, Measurable, Results
Accountability in social media is here to stay. The technology exists for executives to measure and track how much they’re spending on social media and how much of that is generating results. The ability to track a consumer from the time they click a link in a tweet to the time they press “add to cart” or “submit” on a contact form – Is easier than ever before. Marketers are being held accountable for their initiatives and businesses are able to finally measure results.
Executives need to realize that the intersection of technology and social media is not just a marketing idea. This is an idea and a concept that is shaping the way business is done across all verticals. Whether we’re talking about Human Resources and Recruitment or Sales and Information Technology; organizations must embrace and use social media to sustain their competitive advantage and generate a new wave of revenue and success.
As Mark Fidelman of Forbes put it:
“Wake up, executives: if you don’t embrace social media within the next five years, you’ll likely lose your job.”
The time to embrace social media is now.