3. Internal/Employee Communications
"Social media facilitates collaboration," says Paul Liu, CIO, Freeborders, a provider of information technology services. "This is especially important for companies with teams that are located across different regions. At Freeborders, we use Yammer [a private social network] to exchange ideas and collaborate with team members from the U.S., China and Europe."
Adds Marcelo Costa, chief marketing officer for Neoris, a global business and IT consulting firm: "Using social media [can be] very useful in managing communication among employees. We have a LinkedIn group exclusively for employees. The group is managed by the employees and they are the ones who create content, share news and comment on industry trends.
Employees are also in the habit of checking into Foursquare when they arrive to work at one of our locations around the globe." In addition, Neoris created its own hashtag and set up a corporate Instagram account so employees can easily share photos and content, which has created a greater sense of community.
4. Customer service and CRM
Social media has shifted the emphasis away from the traditional call center to tracking customer sentiment online. Indeed, many businesses, as well as companies providing third-party customer service, now refer to what once were known as call centers as contact centers. That's because, thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter (and blogs and forums and message boards), "customer service has to be acutely aware of current [online] conversations and be able to respond in a timely manner," says Jim Harder, principal, Visual Data Group.
"For the everyday consumer, posting on a company's Facebook wall or leaving them a tweet is the most immediate and convenient point of contact, and it's all public," says Molly Glover Gallatin, vice president of Marketing, Compass Labs, which specializes in knowledge-based marketing and advertising.