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Why businesses need to embrace social media

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"Why do I need a blog or a Twitter account or a Facebook page? I’m a B2B business and nobody needs to know what I have had to eat for breakfast?" This was the remark I heard from a senior executive at one of our clients. Although I agree with the breakfast statement, the rest is bordering on head-in-the-sand mentality. Here’s a list of excellent reasons for businesses to invest in social media channels and platforms, no matter what their business or audience.

  • If you have more than one office the you have people in different locations that need to communicate through the web. Setting up a Yammer or Twitter account for you company reduces downtime lost to trying to find the right people or getting information you need. A quick "does anybody have experiencing with process engineering in chemical factories?" message on Yammer gets an instant response without weeks or months of research.
  • Basic communication between teams improves exponentially when they know where you are and what you’re working on. We have a client with dozens of global offices and staff members frequently travel to these foreign offices. Having access to each others travel schedules via Facebook allows them to quickly coordinate their meetings and reduce the confusion in scheduling these meetings.
  • Interns and new hires need information fast. Reading the company blog or searching the blog archives gets them started quicker and gives them access to the blog authors. Going straight to the source helps them cut through red tape and old school line management channels.
  • Feedback on company wide issues like health care plans and operational plans can be aggregated quickly and effectively using any number of social tools like blogs, wikis, and private communication tools like Yammer.
  • One of our engineering clients that sells big complicated projects to state and federal level decision makers has established themselves as a thought-leader through their blog. By posting the smart ideas of the engineers to the blog they are populating the search engines with information directly related to buying decisions. This B2B company has sold $7M in new contracts from new contacts made on the blog with interested readers.

    There is a place for all social media in all businesses. The question is not so much should you use it but how you use it.

Author Richard Banfield

As CEO, Richard leads Fresh Tilled Soil’s strategic vision. He’s a mentor at TechStars and BluePrintHealth, an advisor and lecturer at the Boston Startup School, and serves on the executive committees of TEDxBoston, the AdClub’s Edge Conference, and Boston Regional Entrepreneurship Week.

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