The social media maze and why businesses

The social media maze and why businesses need a strategy

The social media maze faced by businesses has been highlighted by a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report.

The report, which reveals that companies are investing thousands in social media, but failing to measure the return on investment, also found that 58 per cent of businesses are going at social media blind, with no strategy in place, or just an uncoordinated strategy.

The effective use of social media is becoming increasingly important, as consumers and businesses alike are changing their behaviour and expectations. It is becoming a vital brand building tool, as recent statistics from a Chadwick, Martin & Bailey report have proven, claiming that 67% of social media users are more likely to buy a brand they follow on Twitter, while 79% are more likely to recommend a brand they follow on Twitter.

Used efficiently, social media can go further than a communication and brand building tool, as interacting with customers can lead to collaboration on areas like product development, customer service and product support.

But an organised strategy and resource is vital to ensure successful engagement on areas you want to engage on, and to avoid exposure to reputational risk. Key factors to consider before tackling social media and when creating a strategy, include:

•How much and where should you invest?
•What are the potential returns, and how can you measure them?
•What are the risks?
•Do your employees know what they can and cannot say when using social media?
Commenting on the importance of social media strategy, Sean Mahdi, director in PwC’s digital transformation group said: “As embracing social media represents a significant change to the way in which many organisations interact with their customers, a social media strategy is essential. Becoming a social business requires insight on many fronts: about your customers, about what your brand stands for; and about the additional value that you can provide your customers through social media engagement.”

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