Though social media was originally incorporated in marketing communications, it has grown into something much bigger and has a value for all functions of business. The concept of social business Introduced by Dave Evans reflects a new role of social media as a way to involve consumer into the work of all business functions inside the organization. Areas of business, in which participation of consumers can be valuable, extend to such functions as a search of ideas for new products, early warning of problems, opportunities awareness aids, customer services tips, public sentiment around legislative actions.
Some companies have already started to do so by using the information from the feedbacks in social media. According to Kristin Muhlner, CEO of newBrandAnalytics, many of companies switched from surveys to social feedback to gain the insights about customer experience. Feedbacks can be also a source of the information on competitive intelligence and servicing personnel performance evaluations.
An entirely different approach is to use consumers for tasks that were earlier performed solely by employees. One of the examples of this approach is a support application, which is the practice aimed at reduction of support costs through launching the do-it-yourself support forums powered by a social media community. An illustration of the support application is Dell with its Support Forum.
As we see from these examples, social media Is not just for marketing anymore. Surprisingly, marketers can only welcome this change as a wider involvement of consumers in business operations can increase the quality of products and services, intensify consumer experience, and eventually make business even more human and focused on the consumers – a highly desirable outcome for marketers.
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