2010 marked an important milestone in the young social media industry. Mainly because businesses began to leverage social media to be closer to their customers, have a better and almost real time understanding of their markets and reduce marketing expenditure while growing brand reputation and market share.
Businesses who are not leveraging social business technology to monitor, research, connect and collaborate socially with their clients will have a competitive disadvantage over those companies who do.
* 60-80% of purchase decisions are based on recommendations
* Time in the social web exceeded time spend on TV
* 16 Million search results on “has anybody experience with…” indicates that product and brand exploration is no longer influenced by traditional advertising
Social business tools will become strategic in 2011.
Social Media Monitoring
Social Relationship Management
Online Communities / Forums
Social Media Marketing Software
The above selection of products are not a suggestion but shall help to get a feel for the technology as you can select products from nearly 10,000 social media tools and addons these days. The ones with an asterisk (*) are the ones we internally prefer and help our students to work with.
Free or paid applications?
Interesting to note is that none of the above tools are free. Non of the above companies bet their business success on advertising but on the happiness of their customers. In other words, all of those companies are driven by the needs and requirements of their users and customers. We have seen many of the free tools come and go in the past 5 years. Business solidity is certainly another aspect when you decide in which technology you invest time and team resources.
Most of the times a social business strategy goes hand in hand with the tools selection as tools are the enabler to actually execute such a strategy.
Our research team and world wide over 50 CSMS (Certified social media strategists) have the skills and experience to help you select the tools that are best suited for your specific needs.
You may plan to join the Social Media Tools Week – SMTW 2011 in February to get some latest insights into what those tools are capable of.