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Benefits of Social Media

Posted by Belinda Luby

 

Benefits of Social Media

Social Media has become an extension of our lives, allowing a virtual reality in which we can connect and communicate. For business, it has provided a new platform to build and strengthen brands, forging relationships by presenting a brand personality. Social Media gives brands the chance to cut through market noise and connect directly with their audience in real time.  This means both building and destroying brands can happen very, very quickly. 

If executed correctly whilst the brand is providing expected service to their audience,  the benefits far outweigh the risks, and real time means opportunity to immediately execute crisis management should it become necessary. Here is a list of just a few positives:

1. Increased awareness of the organisation

2. Increased traffic to website

3. Greater favorable perceptions of the brand

4. Able to monitor conversations about the organisation

5. Able to develop targeted marketing activities

6. Better understanding of customers perceptions of their brand

7. Improved insights about their target markets

8. Identification of positive and negative comments

9. Increase in new business

10. Identification of new product or service opportunities

11. Ability to measure the frequency of the discussion about the brand

12. Early warning of potential product or service issues

 

GradConnection on Social Media

As GradConnections social media audience is mostly Gen Y in Australia, we find Facebook, twitter and forums to be the most effective media to engage with our audience. Facebook allows us to engage directly with the audience, providing a forum for conversation relevant to our brand and audience. Twitter is better for engaging with clients, University employees and journalists, and forums allow us to answer any questions our audience has - and all three allow us to present our brand personality and build relationships.

Facebook

On facebook, GradConnection has grown from zero fans to almost 7000 since we built the page almost 2 years ago, we initially ran a competition for graduates to "like" our page which spurred a quick spike in growth giving us about 1,000 quick "likes". From there, intelligently utilising the facebook news feed and ticker, and adding a "like" button to the website has seen a significant increase in "likes". 

Twitter

At GradConnection we use twitter to build our online presence and connect with others using @ and # tags. We have been able to make good impressions and post relevant news and updates via twitter whilst staying true to our brand personality, with feedback on the most effective coming from retweets and new client and partnership enquiries being sent to our inbox - each things that would have been far more time consuming in the "real world"

Forums

The GradConnection Forums have allowed us to engage with the students and graduates we are passionate about connecting to relevant opportunities. A few major benefits of the forums are;

1. The ability to answer students and graduates questions to provide them with the information they seek

2. Build relationships with our audiences

3. Involve companies, careers advisers and student societies in forum participation

4. The ability to work with resume services and other third parties who can assist students and graduates in their careers

5. Provide a direct link between graduate employers and their audiences, acting as a platform between the two to allow relationship building and now student profile targeting

6. Build our search engine optimisation (SEO)

7. A platform for real time communication 

8. Build a database of student and graduate FAQ's

 

Tips for setting up Social Media accounts

If you have decided that the benefits of social media are not just inflated hype and want to go ahead with setting up an account, here are a few tips for first timers: 

Facebook

1. Page "Likes" are not best used as a popularity contest, but as a way to genuinely engage with audiences. 

2. Plan relevant posts in advance, and schedule these in to an automatic program such as Hoot Suite if you do not have a dedicated Social Media Manager. 

3. Be true to your brand personality

4. Focus on building relationships through engagement

5. Use "share" competitions to gain a genuine response when building page likes - this filters out those who are genuinely interested in your competition from those who are not. 

Check out our Facebook account

Twitter

1. Take the time to customise your account - add your company logo, change the colours to match your logo etc

2. Post at least once a day, and give your posts personality. Twitter's a competitive environment to gain attention in so make sure you keep it interesting. 

3. Journalists love to trawl twitter for breaking news - perfect for announcements and links to press releases etc

Check out our twitter account

Forums

1. Choose or host forums relevant to both you and your audience - and make sure the pages traffic is consistently high

2. Ensure the forums have moderators to filter spam and inappropriate content

3. Create a profile with links to your page for those who are interested in conduction further research

4. Ensure the page is  a genuine forum - check for hoax names such as celebrity impersonators etc - the forums in which you engage are also a reflection on your brand.

Check out GradConnections forums here

We hope this helps a little with those of you looking for tips on Social Media accounts - if you have any questions you think we can help with, please email us at [email protected]

 

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