5 Benefits of Social Thinking

Marketing and branding are typically the first reasons businesses begin utilizing social media. The next level of social thinking comes when social media is used to enhance business relationships. Social thinking as a way of relating to customers, followers and the public has many benefits. This infographic developed by the ODM Group summarizes five ways businesses can integrate social thinking to improve customer relations and marketing efforts. To give you a better understanding of the benefits, let’s elaborate on each one.

Thinking socially allows you to:

1) Understand your target social media users.

Social Media is a great source for researching and understanding your target market. You can learn valuable information about social media users simply by listening and tracking responses. Develop social listening skills to better understand your followers, what appeals to them, and what compels them to identify with and share your message.

Once you have an idea of what works, take notes. Oh, and you better use pencil, because you will need to erase. Social media behaviors and trends change rapidly, so it’s important to understand how they impact your target market. Stories that grab our attention today are quickly forgotten when something newer comes along. Watch what people are paying attention to each week and, when appropriate, use your own brand’s style to engage with your customers and followers.

2) Implement effective communication strategies.

Repeat after me: “The world will not turn according to my communications plan.”

It’s easy to become attached to plans that take considerable time and energy to create. However, breaking news and trending topics demand the fleeting attention of social media users. This in turn, demands flexibility from businesses wanting to stay top-of-mind and appeal to what’s important to their audience. For example, a negative story about a competitor can easily turn the scrutiny onto your company. Be prepared.

When it comes to messaging, keep it consistent and true to your organization, but use creativity to appeal to followers on different social networks. Set up your communication plan so it allows for flexibility as the social environment evolves.

3) Improve media planning.

The most agile companies are able to find the balance between planning and responding to environmental changes. While fluid communications plans are best, media planning is still important. Keeping an editorial calendar for planned communications is important so you can leverage expected company events, campaigns, seasonal and holiday promotions, and product launches without missing any opportunities to connect and engage with your audience.

4) Enhance customer service. 

Opportunities to offer amazing service are served on a silver platter via social networks. Want to wow your customers? Respond to them. Customers want to share their thoughts, complaints, praise, and opinions. Take advantage of this opportunity by responding and letting them know they’ve been heard.

5) Understand social media’s return on investment.

The payback may not be immediate or tangible, but it does not make it any less important. People are sharing their opinions on the brands they use and interact with 90 times each week. Be one (or more) of them.

The Business of Social Media

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Infographic source: ODM Group.