Beyond Social Media Promotion: New and Innovative Uses of Social Media in Business

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Social media is, of course, a great tool to execute marketing campaigns for promotion of your business and products.

I’m sure you know all about the marketing potential of social media…

Of course, everyone knows about it.


What if I told you advertising and marketing is not the only thing you can use social media for?


Then read on!

Using Social Media for Recruitment


Remember the days before social media?

If you needed to hire someone, you’d have to post an ad… in newspapers, magazines, etc.

And then, you’d go and hire someone who was recommended to you by a trusted associate!

Social networking at work, ladies and gentlemen!

Why not do this when you have a more powerful form of social networking?

You see what I mean?

LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have over 535 million combined users. That is a lot of potential talent for your business that may go untapped if you go a different route.


The most obvious way to use LinkedIn is to post jobs you have available and search for candidates.

The bad news?

This is not a free service.

The good news?

There are ways around it.

If you don’t have the budget to pay for job postings, start by building connections to people you already know.

You never know whose connection may turn out to be a great candidate for your organisation.


But LinkedIn is a professional networking site anyway, you say. How does Facebook help?

I’m glad you asked!

Did you know you could create or join groups on Facebook. These groups can be based on common interests, fan clubs, or even industry-specific categories.

Go ahead and join one that relates to your industry.

You can connect with potential candidates and other industry-relevant groups..

You can post a status about how you’re looking to hire for specific job roles on your profile, page, Facebook Marketplace, and in groups.

You can network… socially!

In fact, there are even recruitment themed groups on Facebook.

It doesn’t have to be all you either. You can post on your business’ Facebook page as well.

You can even ask employees to share this post. If you choose, you can turn this post into an advertisement and target people even beyond your followers.

Facebook advertising offers something your personal page and business page cannot offer.

Laser-level targeting.


And then there is Twitter.

You can tweet vacancies on your Twitter business page.

To get an edge over other businesses and recruiters, you can include hashtags in your tweet.

#job, #jobpost, #employment, #recruiting, #hiring, #career

Find the hashtags that describe the vacancy best.

Other Social Networks:

Just like Twitter, you can post a picture with hashtags on Instagram as well. Create an image describing your job opening, hashtag it, and post away.

Even collaborative networks such as Quora are a good place for recruitments. You can answer questions about internships and jobs while including current vacancies in your business.

You even have specialised social networks for hiring; for example, Behance is a good place to search for graphic designers.

Get Insights on Your Customers Using Social Media

Have you spent a tonne of money on market research?

Trying to learn what your customers want…

Trying to find out what your next product/service/offering should be…

Do you want a cheaper alternative?

Ask your customers directly!


Through social media.

Social media is an amazing resource for understanding your customers better.

Social media analytics can be used as a more efficient form of research than traditional surveys. They do more than just measure your performance on a specific social network.

What else?

  1. You can use your social media audience as a free and effective focus group for your products, services and content.
  2. With behavioural data gathered via social media, you can project and predict your target audience’s buying patterns.
  3. You can use social media engagement metrics to define content-centric preferences of your target audience.

Social media platforms offer analytics tools and dashboards that tell you what your audience engaged with most.

They provide key metrics that will allow you to understand your audience and discover what resonates most with them.

You can find out what they find important to them ranging from political views to favourite haunts.

In fact, since people always try to conform, you can even map out their networks to predict what they like and dislike.

This will, in turn, make it easier for you to emotionally connect with your customers through customised content.

Analytics-Centric Capabilities of Various Social Media Networks

The analytics dashboard offered is different in every social media network. The depth on information shared varies too. In most cases, even the metrics being offered vary greatly.

Facebook and Twitter, for example, can give you detailed information on your audience demographics along with impressions, engagements and the engagement rate for each post.

On Pinterest, you can identify your audience’s tastes using the analytics dashboard. You can even create highly personalised mood boards to better target premium products.

LinkedIn offers similar data to all other social media networks. The only difference is that because LinkedIn is a professional network, you get this data pertaining to your audience’s professional preferences.

Therefore, you have engagement, trends, demographics from the professional perspective.

Social Listening To Refine Your Social Media Use

To truly know your consumers, you must know what they talk about when they are not directly talking to your brand or business. This makes social listening a necessity.

What is social listening?

It’s the practice of keeping track of all conversations that are relevant to a specific subject or your business, even if the relevant words aren’t tagged on it.

Social listening will help you figure out your audience’s opinions of your business your competitors, and even your market.

How can you do that?

There are tools that assist you with reading and summarising what is said about you on the web and social media.

You can even set up Google Alerts for news and information on your business. Then you can sit back and observe Twitter or Facebook hashtags. See what’s generating conversations in your industry.

Using Social Media for Customer Service

Social media allows your business to ask and answer questions from your customers as never before!

According to the Q2 2016 Sprout Social Index, 90% of surveyed consumers used social media to communicate with a brand. In fact, 34.5% of them even said that they preferred social media to traditional channels like phone and email.

That’s great news for you!

You can interact with the customer, fix their issues, and build a relationship all for a cut down price!

You can use social media to build up a following and engagement. You can then use that network for customer service!

You can conduct market research to get industry intelligence and then use the same network for customer service!

You can implement online reputation management and then make your customers feel special with a single system!

Don’t think that’ll work?

Proof Is In the Pudding

A number of big brands including Amazon and Asos even have dedicated Twitter handles just for handling complaints. It works for them.

The flipside of this is horrifying…

Conversocial reported that 88% of consumers are less likely to purchase from a company that leaves questions on social media unanswered.

The silver lining is:

Customers are open to spending up to 20% more when a business engages their customer service-related tweets.

You cannot ignore criticism anyway.

Criticism or Opportunity?

You need to perceive negative feedback as an open invitation to rectify your brand’s image and relationship with the customer.

Social media gives you the chance to respond to customers just when they’re looking to be heard. The emotional rewards are great for them and the financial rewards wonderful for you.

They want to be heard quickly too.

The speed of your response can affect how customers feel about your business.

Customers expect a quick response since social media comes with an ‘always-on’ connotation. In fact, 42% of consumers expect a response on social media within 60 minutes.

You need to reply in a timely, accurate, sensitive, brief, and friendly manner.

A quick response is considered important.

How important?

Facebook measures your response time.

It only considers your business very responsive when it replies within 5 minutes or less every time!


Use bots to reply quickly on messenger, even if the complaints you’re getting are in non-business hours.

Are Private Resolutions Relevant?

Is replying publically the best thing?

Should you go about resolving the entire problem in public view?

Will that not highlight the problems with your brand?

You’re of course right. It will.

What’s the right way?

Let’s see what Twitter offers.

Twitter offers an embedded ‘click to direct message’ feature making it easier for brands to take customer care conversations private. There is merit here.

The best thing to do would be to respond to the public tweet and resolve the issue in private chat.

Make sure you reply publicly first though.

Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind when using social media for customer service.

  1. Sign off with the respondent’s first name or initials, to make the reply personal.
  2. Be consistent with the tone and response time.
  3. Try to reply with a personalised message instead of an automated one.
  4. Respond to all or as many social media feedback comments and questions.

Using Social Media for Collaboration with Like-Minded Businesses and Individuals


Instead of focusing on competition, why not focus on collaboration?

We’ve spoken about the benefits of Strategic Marketing Partnerships in another post.

That post gives you and the business you choose to collaborate with an edge in the market.

So where does social media come in?

Social media can help you find and connect with like-minded businesses.

Where and how to find these awesome businesses?

LinkedIn is an obvious choice when looking for such professionals and businesses. It connects you with potential customers and business partners of all kinds.

As mentioned earlier, you can also join Facebook groups that are industry-specific.

What else?

You can start with creating a Twitter List of people you want to closely follow. This way, you can re-tweet or reply to their posts. You can also share links to stories where other businesses are mentioned.

You may find it even more useful to try a niche social network. They help in reaching a narrowly targeted audience.

It’s an easy way to find and connect with like-minded people for more strategic networking. We mentioned Behance earlier, and AllRecipes is another good example of such niche networks.

Once you’re a part of the community, you can do so much more.

You can consider collaborating on a social media campaign through things like hosting a Twitter Party (a custom hashtag party) or even a joint Facebook contest.

You can mutually benefit from mentioning each other on your blogs too. This gives great exposure to each other’s audiences.

Using Social Media for Internal Communication in Your Business


While emails are not going anywhere, offices around the world have a more effective way to communicate.

Slack changed the rules of internal communication in businesses.

What is Slack?

It is an internal social network specifically for use within companies by employees. It offers intuitive interface, themed chat rooms, searchable archives, and integration with GIPHY and a number of other third party software solutions.

No wonder millions have joined the network.

… And Facebook immediately jumped on the bandwagon!

They started Workplace by Facebook, a similar concept to Slack.

It is now in the market, and being used by companies like Jet Airways, Airtel, Air Asia, Danone, and Starbucks.

If Workplace isn’t for you, you can create private office groups on Facebook in an official or unofficial capacity.

Using Social Media for Social Causes and Charity Initiatives


Thanks to social listening, once you know what causes your consumers care about, you can then use that to create social cause campaigns that will resonate with them.


84% of consumers today seek out responsible businesses whenever possible according to research by Cone Communications.

A previous survey by Edelman Goodpurpose indicates that over 72% of respondents said they would prefer to promote a brand which supports a social cause against one that doesn’t.


Social media promotion works better if you stand for something that your customer also believes in. Such campaigns will help carve a niche for the brand and inspire loyalty.

On social media, these campaigns will also help you expand your reach.

Specific hashtags, like P&G’s ‘#LikeAGirl’ help increase visibility and gets new audiences involved.

You can also partner with a non-profit to sponsor charity projects or donate some proceeds from the campaign to a charity. This can be a part of your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Many businesses are already leveraging social media for social causes.

Again, P&G is a good example for this. They donate parts of their profit to educate children in rural areas with Shiksha. It is mutually benefit for both them and the non-profit.

Unforgettable social campaigns in India include Lifebouy’s ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ campaign. That aimed to instil hygienic hand washing behaviour in schools and villages.

Another famous one is Tata Tea’s ‘Jaago Re’ Campaign, successfully running for a decade now. It was one of the first Indian brands to create a digital Intellectual property.

Go Beyond Social Media Promotion

Social media has evolved way beyond just being a promotion channel.

It has as many interesting and creative uses as you can think of!

You probably have another use for it. Tell us how you’ve used social media in a unique way in the comments!

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