I was discussing with some other folks ideas for how to use social media more effectively. It occurred to me that before you can figure out how to get better at something, you’ve got to know why you’re doing it, what you hope to gain from it.
So, why use social media?
What are the benefits?
I started listing them and came up with 12:
1. Branding. Sharing by you and your connections gets your organization in front of people and gives it personality.
2. Networking/subscribers. Once you connect with someone, it gives you the opportunity to interact with them and provide more news and information on a regular basis. May eventually lead to future sales/support/action.
3. Collaboration. Social media connections can lead to partnerships and new ventures.
4. Social proof. Likes/comments/shares imply content has quality and the author has authority.
5. Search rankings. Shares and likes improve search rankings.
6. Sales. Social media can lead to direct sales.
7. Learning. Connect with wise people who can help you get better.
8. Content. Connect with people who produce great content you can share with your connections and elaborate on.
9. Customer service. Opportunities to help and listen to customers.
10. Customer loyalty. Ongoing communication strengthens the relationship and keeps customers coming back.
11. Serving others. You can help others by encouraging, answering questions, providing advice, meeting needs.
12. Leading change. Social media can enable a person to build or join a tribe of people who share a passion. Together they can brainstorm, plan, coordinate and act to accomplish more than they could individually.
Personal Bonus: The 12 benefits above all apply to organizations using social media. One additional set of benefits I want to mention stand out because they’re personal (and because nobody wants a list with 13 items on it). Those benefits include friendships, encouragement, fun and laughs that come through social media.
Why are you and your organization using social media?