More and More machines are getting connected to social network. What started with computers couple of years back have extended to phones, tablets, smart TV and even camera. It is very foreseeable that more gadgets will be connected and each of our actions will be recorded and shared in forms of text, pictures and videos. Nielsen Report also suggests the multiple interactions of gadgets as a standard behavior of the end users.
Social media has already become a force to reckon with and most of the companies are evolving strategies to leverage it in all the aspects of their business, namely Customer Research, Customer Acquisition and Customer Service.
1. Customer Research:
On a average, 80% of the active internet users used social media, as per a study done about 2 years back. The percentages would have increased by now based on the proliferation of gadgets enabling social interactions. It opens up plethora of opportunities for the companies to tap into the needs, desire, aspirations and pain of the target customers. The insight cuts across the perceived as well as the inherent latent needs of the end customer. These information becomes priceless as it is real time. SAP uses its state of the art In Memory Data Base Management system (HANA) to provide real time "sentiment analytic" based on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sources. Slowly, bigger companies are realizing the enormous potential of utilizing social media for effective market research.
2. Customer Acquisition:
Social media also evolved overs the years. People use social media as a tool to reinforce their buying decisions.Social media is helping companies in influence users, generate leads and finalize sale.
- Influence: Blogging and Micro blogging platforms provide reviews and usability information. Users can access the social media platform to make informed decisions. For Example, if someone complains about the highly automated camera scuttling his manual creativity, another user in search of a more automatic camera might find the same information helpful.
- Generate Leads: As pointed by the Mahindra case study, social media played a critical role in evincing 1,50,000 inquiries, 35,000+ test drives and 8,000 car bookings in the first 10 days. Companies can reach out to the potential customers in cost effective ways by using social media.
- Finalize Sale: Social media Interactions can act as "testimonials" which the sales person can leverage to close the deals. As stated earlier, social media can be used to reinforce business decisions.
3. Customer Service:
Customer Service can be the greatest beneficiary if companies can leverage social media optimally. It can provide platform to cost effectively reach out to the customers, provide the essential "listening" capability to an organisation and in turn help in retaining customers. Companies can learn about what's working and what's not working about their product strategies by social sentiment analysis at real time and can initiate proactive course correction if required. Companies are reaping the benefits of using social media to better their customer service capabilities.
With a growing social network, the role of social media in enterprises will increase by manifold. What we have now is just the tip of the iceberg. What do you think? Soliciting your feedback on this blog.