In my previous post I spoke briefly about the time implications of social media outlets when they are used for entertainment purposes. For the purpose of this post, I would like to elaborate on the professional uses of social media sites (like this blog) in the realm of public relations.
On a recent post on PR Squared, Todd Defren begs the question, “How much tweeting (or other Social Media interaction) is ‘too much’ while on the clock?” In response, Doug Haslam of Topaz makes an excellent point about the positive uses of social media like Twitter. He says that Twitter helps him communicate with the media and analyst communities, in addition to employers, clients and colleagues.
Furthermore, in a post by Marcel Lebrun, he points out that because of the recent surge of the Internet and the social media sources on it, businesses are lining up for customers instead of the other way around. A new and innovative way for businesses to create customer relations has been born, and those who take advantage of it first are likely to benefit the most. He shows how Comcast is a great example of this.
Social media outlets give companies an opportunity to reach out to their customers, remain transparent in their business decisions, brand themselves and provide the opportunity for customers to weigh in their input. As the 21st century pushes away the option of personal consumer relations, the future of social media provides an outlet for gaining it back.
Sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn have become customer service tools that supplement other social media like blogs and e-mail. It is important for businesses to realize the potential of these sites, take advantage of them and utilize the appropriate outlets effectively.