Social Media and Business in 2013
Deborah Sweeney of Social Media Today says “2012 was definitely a year of growth” and that “usage on the sites will undoubtedly continue to grow” in the article titled Where Businesses Meet Social Media – Predictions for 2013. She suggests the following will improve social media practices for businesses in 2013.
A Slightly More Personal Touch
By now we as marketers have figured out social media is not just another channel for promotion. But rather a two way communication tool between customers and companies. Sweeney predicts more CEOs and owners making personal accounts on social media platforms to interact with their business’s customers. By doing this CEOs can forge a personal connection with their customers and be seen less as a corporate entity but more of a helpful friend.
A Blurring of the Borders between Business Websites and Social Media
Sweeney states “currently, there isn’t much of a connection between business websites and social media”. By position the company website as the hub for all social media content and overlapping posts on social media platforms we have begun to blur the line. Sweeney suggest as social media use continues to grow “businesses will begin trying to blend their social media presence and their website. This could mean giving customers the option to post what they just bought on Twitter and Facebook, à la Amazon, or it could just mean that websites are going to be a bit more intuitive and streamlined so jumping from a business’s Facebook account to its website is not such a shock.” To achieve this integration it will be important to marketers to understand not only what the company wants from social media usage, but the customers as well.
Higher Expectations for Employees to Play Along
The incorporations of more of the human element (mentioned earlier) is important to a company’s social media presence. Sweeny suggest one way if doing this is by “asking employees to both promote and interact with the company online”. This suggestion is dependent on the nature of the business of the company and attitude of the employees. Sweeny mentions “some businesses already monitor their employees’ social media accounts, and there have been reports of people being fired for badmouthing their employer online”. But in order for any business to succeed (with or without social media interactions) relies on business owners, CEOs and employees will being team players and supporting the business they work for.