Social networks have become integral parts of our more and more digitized world. And not only for private use, but also for business these networks have become important channels for networking and interaction. With more than 90 percent, almost all big German companies are using Social Media as a channel of self-presentation and communication.
Not only for recruiting but also for customer relationships, public relations and to improve reputation, Social Networks have become an essential part of our business world. It has become more and more important to know what themes are discussed in these networks and to contribute to these discussions actively.
Many different Social Networks exist and give companies a broad choice of different channels. Five of the most important and well-known social networks for companies are:
Facebook as the biggest network for private users worldwide, mixing private and business aspects
Youtube, which offers the possibility of cost-effective marketing gains by videos and viral marketing
Twitter as a microblogging channel
LinkedIn for international recruiting and networking
Google + as an important international network with SEO values
But of course also networks like Instagram and Pinterest offer potentials for sharing photos and videos.
Social networks offer many chances for companies, they can use them for direct communication with customers and to strengthen the relations. They can also be helpful for recruiting, especially platforms like LinkedIn or Xing. Social networks can help companies to find out more about customers and target groups and of course it is possible to communicate to a broad publicity. And as emotion is a very important factor for purchase decisions, emotional contents can help to strengthen the emotional appeal. And last but not least Social networks are helpful for advertisement as a high precision of advertising is possible by targeting.
But there are also some risks. For example, criticism against the company can easily end up in a viral shitstorm. Or employees could share sensitive information with others.
To minimize these risks, companies have to deal professionally with criticism and be prepared to react to critical comments, because with the appropriate know-how and reaction at an early stage, a shitstorm can often be prevented.
And with a comprehensive instruction and the definition of concrete guidelines, employees can be sensitized to what should be and what should better not be posted.