After reading my latest article on all the different social networks that I’m involved in my employer, SCHILLER Australia, is wanting to get a little more “social and interactive” on the internet so they have asked me to investigate how they can do that.
The brief that was given to me in a meeting today is that it needs to be easy, it needs to have the ability to be put in front of a large audience, it needs to be secure, and most of all it needs to be user friendly for the CEO. The obvious thing that springs to mind, for me at least, is that they should get involved in a number of different social networking websites.
So here’s what I’m thinking network wise, and some examples of how they can get involved.
Twitter – despite it’s downtime and constant crashing Twitter is actually cool and potentially quite useful to us. One use is to answer service questions and basic medical / cardiac questions. It can also be used for announcing upcoming product releases and other news articles.
Facebook – On Facebook you can setup ‘fan pages’ for companies and / or products. The awareness that could be created for public access level products, ie. at-home defibrillators and CPR training products, could be used to open the market up and have us being seen as a leader in the field.
YouTube – We sell a number of products which are very simple to use and essentially require no training, however there are always a few customers who do require some training. With these products our reps, in most cases, spend more time driving to and from the customer’s to deliver the training than they do actually training the customers. If we were able to avoid all that wasted travel time by being able to deliver the training via You Tube, or similar video site, we could save quite a bit of money and also it would also provide a great reference resource that customers can revert back to, not to mention that it could also be used as pre-sale training so that the potential customer would know a lot more about the particular product.
Last FM – Currently we have one of our old computers plugged into our telephone system and our on-hold music is played in iTunes and streamed out to the phone whenever anyone is on-hold. This is more of a novelty rather than a sales and or brand awareness tool, however it would keep information ticking over on our website as well as giving people an insight into our company persona via the types of music that we listen to.
Flickr – Our sales team is constantly on the road, and also attend a large number of conferences, expos and seminars around the world each year. We could have a company Flickr account setup to showcase these different events we attend, the people we meet, the products we see, and some of the different places we travel to each year for business. Again this is more of a novelty than an actual sales tool however it’s the sort of thing that does bring people on to your website when you’re taking their photos at various events and can show a more human side to the company rather than just being a ‘faceless organisation’.
Upcoming – Upcoming can be used as an events calendar where our customers can see where we will be displaying our product range at the various conferences, expos and other events we attend. People can subscribe to it and also contact us to book personal product demonstrations and alike.
There’s a handful of other social networking websites that I’ve also considered but am still undecided on. The reason I’m undecided on these ones varies but mostly it’s because of privacy concerns for our staff, and in the case of Linked In there is the potential that it can be used by companies to ‘head hunt’ our staff and while they could probably achieve that anyway I don’t want to make it any easier for them
So that’s what I’m thinking at the moment, and from here I will be making a presentation of this to the boss in the next couple of days so I’m eager to here from you guys think and if there are other potential social networks are out there that could be worth taking a look at as well.