Social Networks Benefit Employees and Customers

Social media provides users with information via blogs, podcasts, and webinars. Users write reviews or create forums, wikis, and videos. Users connect with each other and providers through virtual worlds and social network communities.

“Social networking has caused a fundamental and transformational shift in the way that people are connecting, knowledge is being shared and information is flowing,” says Charles B. Kreitzberg, Ph.D., CEO of Cognetics, a firm dealing with the human aspects of computer technology.

About 50% of large companies and 75% of small ones (fewer than 500 employees) are using social media of all types. Of those, it is estimated that 40-60% have their own social network. Microsoft has the Town Square, IBM the Blue Pages, and Best Buy the Blue Shirt Nation.

“Engage me, inform me, and entertain me,” says Bernie Borges, author of Marketing 2.0: Bridging the Gap Between Seller and Buyer on the Social Web. “But don’t make me read an ad; don’t send me email news. Companies are made up of people; be social with your existing and prospective customers.”

Sharing Knowledge

Social networking creates personal networks of friends and professional networks of colleagues available to offer information at the click of a mouse. Meeting others through online conversations creates and strengthens relationships, alerting employees to who knows what, where to go for information. Through social networks, people share common interests or needs who wouldn’t normally meet; they support each other in knowledge sharing and problem solving.

Social networking helps form business strategies and strategic alliances. Howard Rheingold, Rheingold Associates, notes that a large teachers organization had developed and was promoting new standards for teaching math at all levels. Getting everyone together was unrealistic so what was the most efficient way to promote the new math standards?

Ultimately, the teachers organization partnered with a public television station to produce and distribute videos showing real teachers teaching to the new standards. A teacher facilitated interaction on a social network with groups of teachers to share teaching experiences, student projects and best practices. One teacher noted that just reading about the new standards would never have given him the “…rich, depth of information, and resources obtained through the social network.”

Enhancing Communication

Social networking allows people to get and stay in touch, minimizing the need for endless email streams or the wait for an ‘expert’. Online users are surprised by how quickly they get responses from employees at Sears and Kmart in response to questions and complaints posted on company websites. Timely communication fosters customer satisfaction, which creates brand loyalty and contributes to the bottom line.

Online social networks at work facilitate continuous employee communication, which promotes awareness of and helps employees better understand the roles and responsibilities of colleagues in other departments. This helps employees feel a part of the whole, increasing employee satisfaction at work.

Making Connections, Cultivating Relationships

Information and knowledge are shared with people, not organizations. We all know that creating relationships is essential to business success; social networking connects people, who often establish relationships lasting a lifetime.

Two-thirds of all Zappos employees are on Twitter, where they are encouraged to let their personalities shine through when connecting online with customers to offer tips on shoe care or respond to customer questions. Customers describe it to be like having their own ‘personal shopper’ at the company! Such customer satisfaction can only drive return business.

For 71 of its 75 years, Indium Corporation of America, developer, manufacturer and supplier of solders and thermal interface materials, acquired business through direct marketing and trade shows. Four years ago, the marketing director tapped an engineer on the shoulder and asked him to start blogging. Four years later, Indium has ten blogs and 15 bloggers, professional staff who cultivate relationships that have moved offline to ongoing business relationships. Made worldwide, these relationships have not only enhanced customer satisfaction and brand loyalty but employee satisfaction as well; employee bloggers feel empowered to interact with customers in new ways.

“Relationships in business mean everything; the relationship should be with the people behind the site, not with the site itself. Those in the organization must foster and nurture the relationship,” states Anne Pauker Kreitzberg, President of Cognetics.

By social networking, employees learn new things about their colleagues – personally and professionally. One employee was struck by insightful comments made online by a colleague, a man who appeared aloof during face-to-face meetings. This realization prompted the employee to interact more often with this colleague. Social networking opens up infinite possibilities and resources – not the least of which may be increased employee satisfaction.

Engaging Employees

Social networking also increases employee satisfaction on the job because employees feel more engaged in their work. An $8-billion energy company was conducting a strategic analysis of factors influencing its industry. The usual practice was for the company to hire external consultants to work with its corporate officers.

Recently, however, the company created an online network to engage people at all levels of the company around the world in discussions (real time and asynchronous) about industry trends, new technologies, the economy and factors influencing the success of the company. Some group discussions became so dynamic that problem-solving moved to creativity and innovation! Social networking activities made information relatively easy to locate and summarize in a report.

Facilitating Talent Management

Social networking facilitates talent management. Among the largest law firms in the world, Latham & Watkins LLP has a private social network containing policies, procedures, forms, invitations, upcoming events, calendars, forums and photos. The network is used early in the recruiting process through to the ‘alumni’ relationship, when attorneys leave or retire from the firm.

The firm grants second or third round recruits limited access to the network. Once a position is accepted, on-boarding is managed through the social network. When new attorneys show up for work the first day, they have already made connections and developed relationships with other staff. This social network stimulated a 15% increase in first year retention and a 38% increase in first year productivity.

In addition to enhancing productivity, social networking creates an environment in which employees continuously contact others for advice, strategies, and best practices – just-in-time to apply it on the job. This helps minimize the need for training outside of the organization, saving both time and money.

“The key to the successful use of social networking is to listen and the ability to listen is easier than ever,” notes Borges. “You identify the community you want to reach and listen to what they say. On the web, it’s easy to track interests and trends. Comments from consumers turn into leads.” Do you know how social networking contributes to your bottom line?

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Joining the Right Social Networks for a Job Search

“Which are the best social networks to use for job search?” That’s a good question with no clear-cut answer, as it depends on your definition of “best.” There are an overwhelmingly large number of social networks, and new ones being created weekly. Examples include business social network sites, more socially-oriented networks sites, photo and music sharing social network sites, dating social network sites, highly vertical professional social network sites, and social network aggregation sites.

Each one is slightly different. And none have the same type of social network members. But just because there are many social networks, it doesn’t mean that you need to join a large number of them.

To avoid information overload, start by focusing on just one or two networks. Facebook and LinkedIn are two great choices. Once you become familiar with these two main networks, the transition to any other network will be an easy one. You will already have your content in place, so it is just a matter of making a few tweaks to accommodate the social network specifics.

Due to its focus and Fortune 500 pedigree, LinkedIn is a tremendous channel to leverage in your people-search. Bear in mind, though, that you can only connect directly to people in your own personal network. No introduction is needed; just send them an ‘invitation’). To safeguard its unique niche, respect its members’ time, and eliminate potential spamming, or UCE (unsolicited commercial email), LinkedIn does not allow you to connect to people beyond your personal network.

Connecting to the contacts of one of your personal network acquaintances is highly recommended to vastly expand your personal network. These are individuals who are one time or two times removed from your personal network. You will need an “introduction” to be made on your behalf by your acquaintance to their contact. This helps to maintain the high quality of LinkedIn’s online network.

LinkedIn’s features include a profile page that is customizable by adding a head-shot image, personal/business information, email address, and other relevant information. Users can seek endorsements from past clients or colleagues who are willing to provide testimonials on their behalf. This is a great way to build you credibility and have potential recruiters, employers, and consultants learn more about you.

Groups within LinkedIn will provide you with the ability to research and join specific groups of interest around product/services, markets/industries, or other focal points. This, too, is a great way to expand your presence/brand and network via people-searching.

The Answers feature within LinkedIn offers the ability to pose questions to your network if looking for solutions to a business problem or market research. These questions are posed and emailed only to your personal network, and you have the ability to mail to all or to be selective about who will receive your message. This also enables you to reply to questions you receive from others in your network, and it’s a fabulous tool for positioning yourself by adding value and demonstrating your willingness to help and offer solutions to others.

NOTE:Do not use this vehicle to ‘sell’ or ‘solicit’ business. This is a surefire way to isolate yourself from the very network that can help you. The business that does come your way will arrive more indirectly as a result of your ‘contributions’ in asking/answering questions and providing value.

By inviting others to join your network, you can increase your network of professional contacts and broaden your connections exponentially. You can identify potential connections via LinkedIn’s search functionality.

The other place to start with social media is Facebook. whose sheer size makes it the largest online social networking site and one of the Internet’s most trafficked destinations. When many people think of Facebook, they envision it as the place where college students post photos from parties and attempt to hook up with romantic partners. However, this social networking site is now a dynamo that has been increasingly embraced by individuals over 25.

Today it is a viable place for professionals to network with the ultimate goal of finding their next jobs. So despite their high number of younger users, don’t look down on Facebook or MySpace. Recruiters and HR mine these huge pools of social communities every day, looking for candidates for their job assignments.

Why ignore such a potentially rich source of contacts that can help you in many different ways? Whereas LinkedIn is more business focused, Facebook and MySpace are just the opposite. They emphasize the ‘social’ component of the phrase ‘social media.”

That means you will need to be more deliberate when setting up your profile if you’re new to these sites. You also should consider modifying your profile if you’re a current member to take a more professional approach with it. You may wish to forgo filling out certain sections that make it seem too personal (e.g., relationship status, interested in, favorite books/movies).

That said, you won’t want to eliminate your personal side. You’ll want some personal aspects so as to demonstrate your authenticity as a qualified individual. Also, letting part of “you” show through helps make you more multidimensional. Noting some of your unique interests, hobbies, and pursuits can help others make more of a ‘connection’ with you. These qualities can humanize you. It’s always easier to write off a candidate who is no more than a name on a page along with some job experiences as opposed to someone who comes off as a real person.

Let’s face it: People hire people, not profiles. This is what makes informational meetings so important. They enable you to explore career opportunities and learn about those who are working in an industry or company you might like to enter. While social networking can make connecting all the more efficient, it still doesn’t replace the face-to-face meeting.

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Internet Marketing on Social Networks

If your an internet marketer, affiliate marketer, entrepreneur or someone who wants to use internet marketing on social networks, there are a few tactics and strategies you’ll need to consider before going after your intended target market.

Taking the time to carefully construct a social marketing campaign plan can be the difference between success and dismal results. Here are 7 marketing strategies, tactics and questions I would consider before attempting to use social media and social networks for marketing online.

1. What is the Ultimate Goal you are Wanting to Achieve?

Are you wanting to use social networks to brand yourself or your company? If so, then your approach would be entirely different than someone who is simply wishing to create numerous backlinks from high authority page ranked social sites. A branding campaign would obviously require a bit more time and effort. If your simply taking the shotgun approach and trying to get backlinks in an effort to rank highly in the search engines, then you may want to create a buffer between your social network profiles and social bookmarking efforts. In other words, once you have used the social bookmarking sites and have created social network profiles that have a link pointing back to your site, promote and link those sites which already have authority in order to give your main site a little extra boost.

2. Hobby or Money Site?

If your utilizing social networks to promote your hobby/special interest site then you probably don’t need to overthink your overall social media campaign. On the other hand, if your in this to make money, then your social networking profile and efforts need to reflect this in a balanced way. Add a fair amount of info, photos, videos and content to your profiles so that you do not give off the vibe that your simply on the social site to promote yourself or your site. Take the time to search out friends with relevant interests, as opposed to getting trigger happy with friends requests. Join groups that fall within the target market you should have already identified. Lastly, although you need to add content to your profiles to mix it up a bit, remember that your trying to drive potential prospects into your sales funnel or your offer. Your overall goal of your social networking profile should be focused on this, otherwise you might as well just consider your efforts a hobby.

3. Who is your Target Audience/Market/Niche?

This may seem obvious to some, but you should consider who it is your trying to market to on social networks. Hopefully you’ve done your homework, researched your niche and determined the demographics of who is most likely to be interested in your offer or what your promoting. For example, lets say you’ve identified that males between the ages of 45-55 are more likely to be interested in your offer, website your promoting, etc. It would not make much sense to spend an enormous amount of time on a social network who’s main user audience generally tends to be 14-21 years old. It’s a lot like traffic generation. Untargeted traffic, at the end of the day, will only eat up your bandwidth and focusing your efforts on social networks that don’t match up with your target audience will only eat up your time.

4. Consider Outsourcing Your Social Networking Efforts

It can be quite tedious and time consuming to create profiles, upload content, manage friends requests, and everything else that goes along with participating and marketing on social networks. If you have the financial means to do so, you may want to consider outsourcing the tasks of signing up on social networks and maintaining the day to day activities that go with it. If your just starting out, and have more time on your hands than money in your pocket to burn, you’ll probably want to manage your social profiles yourself. On the other hand, only you can determine what your time is worth. You may just find that its worth spending X amount of dollars per month to outsource your social networking efforts so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.

5. Consider Purchasing Advertising Space

Most social networks offer advertising space and in most cases it’s relatively inexpensive. Maybe you would like to determine whether its even worth creating a presence on a certain social site. Why not run a small test campaign to see how responsive your target audience is on a given network? Most sites enable you to drill down by various demographics for your ad campaigns, use that to your advantage and test the waters out. If your ads and offers are converting, keep the ad running and then take the time to either create a presence on that social network or outsource that task.

6. Remember Why Your There in the First Place

It’s easy to get distracted in our day to day lives. Nowhere is that probably more evident than on the web, and it could be argued that social networks are the biggest time waster of them all for some people. It’s very easy to look up from your monitor and realize you just spent 30 minutes Twittering about nothing, an hour and a half watching and rating viral videos on YouTube, adding friends, blocking friends that turn out to be spammers, ignoring spammy bulletins and friends statuses on MySpace, installing apps on Facebook, stumbling on StumbleUpon, Sphinning hoping others Sphinn you back…and before you know it 3 hours have gone by and what have you accomplished? Oh and don’t forget, you haven’t even checked your email yet. After you skim through the spam that made it past your junk folder, and the emails from all the social sites, the “so-and-so” is now following you on Twitter (who happens to be following 3,000 other people while only being followed by perhaps 5 people). Are your beginning to get the picture?

Social Networks can be a great place to market your offers, brand yourself and your companies considering the sheer number of people who hangout and interact on these sites. Just remember not to loose track of time, stay focused on your original reason for being on these sites in the first place. It can be a great to make some new friends, network a little and all that. But if your main reason for using social networks is to market yourself or your services and lead people into your sales funnel, remember that and focus your time strategically.

7. Create a Presence on Smaller Niche Based Social Networks

If you came across a social network that happened to consist of a small group of avid enthusiasts pertaining to the niche market you just happened to be targeting or had an particular interest in yourself, for example, a golfing social network and you were trying to market a golfing product online as an affiliate… would you consider creating a social profile presence on that particular site? Would you consider buying advertising space on that niche based social site? What if the site was just launched and had not yet built up a member base yet, but the site looked like it had a lot of potential? There are numerous niched based social networking sites coming online these days. While there is obviously room for more than just one or two players in any given niche based social networking site category, the ones that come across as complete cookie-cutter sites, out-of the box scripts and that are never able to attain a decent sized member base will eventually fold and close up shop if the niche is a fairly competitive one. Others will grow over time, evolve and be a gathering point of people who share similar interests. Why not create a profile on these niche based sites before there are 100’s if not 1000’s of members so that your profile is the one new members see first? Some of these niched based social sites are like diamonds in the rough, just waiting to be mined, that will grow over time into a highly targeted user base just waiting to be marketed to with a relevant offer. Personally, I’d much rather market to 50 – 100 people on a smaller network whom were obviously prequalified, targeted leads as opposed to joining a social site with millions of members and have a 1000 friends to contend with whom are not the least bit interested in the niche I was targeting or the offer I was trying to present. While your creating a presence on the larger social sites like Facebook and MySpace, try to identify some of the smaller social networking sites coming online that pertain to your market/target niche and create a presence there while these sites are in their infancy. Who knows, you may just discover a few niche based social networks that turn out to be hidden goldmines for your market before your competitors do.

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How to Get the Most From Your Social Network

Do we jump on the Social Networking Bandwagon because we do not want to miss the movement, or are we methodically looking at integrating this new avenue into our overall marketing plan?

I get excited when I hear about a new way to communicate with my customer base. There is nothing more important than opening a dialogue with a customer as they can provide the critical information that is required to move a company’s product or service forward.

A customer is a very precious entity and more companies need to appreciate that along with their product or service that their customers’ information is one of the most important resources that they have. A company would not haphazardly change a design or distribute a product to an unknown channel, nor would they randomly promote their service in unknown markets. Yet, companies are jumping on the Social Network Bandwagon to communicate with their customer, but many do not have a plan of action, they are just excited to tell you that they are now embracing Social Networking. Companies are spending money to be on or a part of Social Networking tools such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, and Flickr to communicate with a customer that they do not know, in a fashion that may not complement how their customer communicates. Thus, they run the risk of being disingenuous and losing touch with a very valuable resource.

Social Networks can be a very powerful ally, but like all marketing channels, just because it exists does not mean it is right for you.

So, if you are looking to jump onboard the Social Networking Bandwagon, what should you be looking for, how should you act, and what should you not do?

I have a very basic way to look at social networking that revolves around the word social, which I like to equate to interacting at a social event [party]. At a party if you want to be successful mingling with the other guests you have to listen to what other people are saying, you may try to get to know more about the people you are talking with so you have more information to keep the conversation flowing, you communicate in a sincere fashion, and lastly you do not want to dominate the conversation otherwise you may be talking to yourself by the end of the evening. In many social environments you typically run into the same people over and over again, so if you were successful in prior interactions then you will be a person they may seek out to talk with.

Another important point for the word social is that social networks are typically an informal gathering of people who may be interested in exchanging information or just socializing. This is the key component as to why social networks are successful for general consumer use, but have a hard time being accepted into the business environment. People access their social network of choice drawn in by a desire to participate in a special interest forum, to hear what someone at a unique event has to say or to view a video on a subject that they have an interest in. They are interested in actively or passively participating, but that is their choice and there is no hype or alternative motive to being a part of that social network. Thus, if you are a business, you are interjecting a business conversation either directly or indirectly into a social network, which can create a barrier for open communications, and communications is the reason you want to participate in a social network.

So, if you jump on the Social Networking Bandwagon without a plan on how you want to use a specific social network, you may end up pushing your message to the customer and not listening to what they are saying; you will not earn their trust. If you do not earn their trust then you cannot take the next steps with regards to opening a dialogue, which would preclude you from soliciting information about your product or service.

Important facts for a Company to consider when working the Social Network channels:

Be Yourself – There is nothing worse for a business to do then to create a false image on a social network and then to be found out.
Listen to What is Being Said, Do Not Dominate the Conversation – Remember this is a social network; people are participating by their own choice. You have to earn the right to participate; you should not drive the conversation.
Be Authentic, Do Not Be Transparent – These points tie into being yourself, being honest with your communications, and to be open to listen to all feedback and comments.
Be Selective on Which Social Networks to Participate In – If you are being yourself, if you are being authentic and not being transparent then it would be impossible to retain an active presence on every social network, but you do not need an active presence on every one. If one social network channel does not meet your expectations then draw up a plan to look at a different channel and learn from your time on the other channels.
Your Marketing Plan is Still the Controlling Force – You do not toss your marketing plan out the window when you engage a social network, in fact you should have factored the use of social networks into your overall marketing plan to ensure that you are working towards a common outcome with your customers. Social Networks are not a panacea; they are just another channel to communicate with your customer, so manage your expectations and your perceptions.
Social Networking is a Mindset – Social Networks are a tool that you use, but how you use that tool and what you get out of it will differentiate you from your competition.
As I stated, I get excited when I hear about new ways to engage a conversation with a customer, and the Social Networking tools provide some great avenues depending on how you will interact with your customers and where you may find them. When it comes to marketing in today’s economy, and especially with social networks, it starts with your customer and it will always end with your customer, so make sure you know your customer.

Social Networking is another avenue within your overall marketing plan. Thus, just like you proofread every media document, review product packaging, and analysis feedback regarding services, you need to be actively involved and have a plan for using social networks that complements your overall marketing strategy.

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Importance of Social Networks for Businesses

Introduction:
Companies after ever increasing the speed of utilization of internet and social networks by individuals decided to use social networks to become more and more popular in terms of their banding strategies, positioning, marketing activities, customers services and feedbacks, implementation of e-CRM and alike. People use social networks in order to communicate, share their ideas, and use the flow of information and other means of publishing information about themselves.

Although since 1990s, utilization of internet, many social networks and internet tools had emerged, it was not popular. Recently, through the development of social network in friendly atmosphere and with less complexity in terms of functioning for individuals, this service (social network service) has become part of people’s lives.

In terms of clarification of analysis on customer satisfaction, customer retention, and customer relationship management and customer feedbacks, social networks play a pivotal role. As a result companies have tried to utilize Social network services in order to better serve customers and obtain other various objectives. Most companies recognized that social network sites (SNSs) like Napster, Facebook, and Twitter and so on are the best places to them in order to highlight their brand image through which they can increase their market share, and sustainability.

What is a Social Network?
It is considered as a platform through which social relations will be built among people and information sharing will be facilitated. Through social networks sites personal information and relationships can be shared and users can stay in touch.

Most of SNSs provide a personal page for posting, ability to search for friends and other issues like updating profile and personal data and have the ability to restrict and/or conceal the mentioned information by page owner from the eyes of public or specific people.

These Online facilities (SNSs) have improved the movements of individuals on online tasks, especially in the mentioned social networks for the purpose of maintaining friendships regardless of distance (geographical limitation). Not only that but also it enables people to find better jobs and partners.

Regarding the acceptance of these sites by people, companies have become interested to get involved in this process through which they can sell their products and services and better serve customer ‘s needs and wants and through analysis of consumer buying patterns and their feedbacks they can fine tune their decision making process as well as their strategies.

Below information reveals the fact that how rapidly number of social networks increase since 1997.

1997: SixDegrees.com

1998: —

1999: Asian Avenue, Live Journal, Black Planet

2000: LunarStorm (SNS relaunch), Migente

2001: Cyworld, Ryze

2002: Fotolog, Friendster, SkyBlog

2003: CouchSurfing, LinkedIn, MySpace, HI5, Tribe.net,

2004: Orkut, Dogster, Flicker, Facebook (Harward only), Mixi, Piczo, Hyves, Catster

2005: YouTube, Zanga, Yahoo.360, Facebook (Highschool networks), Bebo, Ning, Asian Avenue & BlackPlanet (relaunched)

2006 till now: QQ, Windows Live Space, Facebook (Corporate Networks), Twitter, MyChurch, and then Facebook (Everyone)

Many companies during previous decade as a result of increasing the use of these networks have decided to penetrate into SNSs in order to find the relevant information of people, elicit information and analyze them in order to make appropriate decision based on market moves; not only in terms of customers but also in terms of competitors and rules and regulations. They aim at finding useful information in order to do external (Scanning, monitoring, forecasting, assessing), and industry analysis (5 forces of porter) as well as competitor analysis.

Usefulness of Social Networks:

Considering SNSs as a marketing tool, they help companies to interact with customers and create online communities and pages,

Updating latest activity of companies, advertisements and providing customers with applications necessary or useful in order to increase the traffic of their page, blog or community,

Facilitate the process of being aware of the company, and promote ideas, products and services,

Skipping search engine optimizations rankings,

It helps to get feedback from customers and to better implement the concept o electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM) and to classify valuable customers in order to serve them with value creating activities,

Focus on market, global reach, limitless number of customers who can be served, to better segment the market and customers,

Enables different model of advertising such word of mouth, suggestions for specific group or niche and so on.

Fastest way to get information and finding opportunities,
Social Networking Sites and E-commerce Businesses:
Although other methods of communication exist, they are to some extent different comparing to SNSs. Social network is a place in which individuals become fan of a page, they see each other and based on their mutual interest they become capable of interacting with each other and make a community on their own.

The mentioned issue is the result of shifting the power through utilization of SNSs from company to consumers. More social networks get popular, the tougher is the implementation of business based on traditional procedures therefore; companies must consider market moves in this case. Besides, by digging up the information available on these networks identification of valuable customers would be easier and a business can serve its valuable customers much better in this regard.

Regarding the accessibility of individuals to internet, companies moved from Brick and Mortar to Click and Mortar or to virtual one which resulted in operational efficiency improvement as well as generating revenue.

As companies are moving toward the above mentioned issue (adaptation of EC), they utilize several strategies to achieve success. They used various strategies in business and corporate level to reduce costs of transaction, reducing delivery time, to better serve the customers and to better manage them, and to better inform them about the current activities performing by the business especially for service companies. Accordingly, due to massive passion of individuals in case of using social networks like Facebook, twitter and so on, companies decided to reduce the gap between themselves and consumers by following consumers passion therefore, they started to make use of social networks and possibly other web 2.0 applications on extend their businesses.

In this era, almost all companies have websites and among them, some have social network to better communicate with customers which is linked to a website by the use of social plugins. Consequently, it is highly suggested to businesses that if they are not being first mover in Social networks, at least do never miss the chance of being late mover.

Impact of Social Networks on Marketing:
As it is mentioned above, individuals will be attracted to join famous social networks in order to create a profile and connect with existing members or pages or businesses. Once a profile created, users can interact with each other; send invitation for others to join. By the time a link shaped, communication to a friend, group members become easy because users tend to organize themselves by affinity, life stage, and psychographics which would be an excellent chance for targeted marketing.

Impact of Social Networks on Purchase Intention:
Through the use of social network as mentioned before members share their ideas, they may talk about different thing even including the recent product they bought or a particular type of service given to them or offered by a company. Many people around the world believe in talking to other consumers in order to get the required information before purchasing for a good or service (a matter of trust factor-word of mouth). And nowadays consumers due to availability of information on the internet they prefer to search online and when going online they more like to go to social networks in order to find more information from other customers, and what have been shared on social network pages of a particular company about certain type of good or service.

Form the eyes of marketers the information shared is vital for companies regarding the fact that information shared are the real facts mentioning by customers/consumers, and friends or fans of a particular group may rely or trust on other people (or fans) when saying facts.

In terms of marketing, in social networks various marketing aspects can be covered.

Word of mouth,
Market research,
Market segmentation,
General marketing,
Communication between customers as well as employees,
Public relations,
Customer service
Management of reputation and brand positioning,
Marketers use network marketing because of its various benefits which some of them are:

Product increase and brand awareness,
Being online helps companies to increase the awareness of their products and services especially through social networks sites.

By every interaction, marketers try to indirectly lead members or fans to follow the news of companies and everything and remember the brand and website.

Increase the traffic,
All companies try to increase the traffic of their websites by using various methods like communicating, recommending and postings on SNSs followed by a link in order to guide a fan or member to the official website and let them know their available products and services.

Improve search engine optimization (SEO),
In order to increase the popularity of a website companies need to share more links everywhere so that search engines find the contents follows by link easily. In this case people will read more of the content a company shared. Social media must be part of search engine optimization strategy.

It is worth mentioning that the value of finding content on SNSs is very much because they appear natural to search engines.

Increase loyalty of customers,
Brand loyalty will be achieved when a company can promote its services or products via social networks. By releasing true valuable content, trust go up and reputation of company increases.

In the process of using social media customers feel that they are participants rather than being only a user. If they feel they are participant they will be more involved and as a result of customer involvement and value creating activities of company customer loyalty increases.

Increase the success rate of lunching new good,
Regarding the fact that flow of information is very high in SNSs, understanding customer needs and want become easier which can be considered as a unique opportunity of social networks. Accordingly, companies can serve customers better by lunching goods appropriate to the tastes of consumers and manage product development process in order to increase customer loyalty and retention.

Impact of Social Networks on Sales:
SNSs are helpful in case of acquiring more benefit and possibly increase market share in competitive market. Through the utilization of social networks companies will find new method to serve customers better based on their expectations and their needs, to find customers, communicate with them and understand them in order to acquire new customers and also to retain the existing one.

Although it is a good opportunity, in some organization still a vague attitude toward utilization of social networks exists. Through social networks a salesperson can achieve benefit of having access to profiles before the commencement of communication.

SNSs and e-commerce businesses have made the world very small because they have eliminated the geographical limitations as a barrier for marketing and sales and by going online, they reduced the number of intermediaries therefore; firms may sell more and achieve more profit.

To exemplify, Facebook has millions users and many of them are over 18years old and its traffic is high. Therefore Facebook can be a very good place to do promotional, customer centric activities in order to increase sales. Also lots of pages exists that users are involved in. Sales persons and marketers can analyze the insights of the pages. Every page reveals information about daily, weekly and monthly active users, demographic information, daily feedbacks and so on which can be used to analyze the customer behavior pattern and customer relationship management which ultimately results in increase in sales.

Consequently, through penetrating into social networks, businesses have an access to vast majority of consumers. So creating account in social networks and joining groups leads to expand contacts and increase sales.

Impact of Social Networks on Services:
Individuals using social networks are increasing day by day. So the rate of communication among them increases. These communications can be about social stuff or about a product or service they purchased. These communications among individuals can be considered as an opportunity and also a challenge for customer service departments. Customers mainly like to receive a service based on their preferred channels. Because customers reveal their opinion widely if they are not pleased which result in detrimental impact on a firm’s product or service.

Through social networks companies receive feedbacks from customers which lead them to improve the quality of services/products as well as finding the best opportunity based on customer’s needs and wants. Therefore customer service channels like Facebook, twitter and alike can be used as a tool for performing value creating activities.

It is worth mentioning that through SNSs many problems between customers and company can be solved on the spot and it would be easier to reduce cost of services.

In this case some social networking accelerator tools exist like (Microsoft Dynamics CRM) to better manage, handle and monitor customers. These tools perform activities like:

Monitoring SNSs for branding issues and keywords,
Tracking customers,
SNSs also provide efficient multi-channel service which leads to reduce customer service calls and direct contacts and costs related issues.

Some social network accelerators help to better analyze customer’s feedback and to track the feedbacks easily. Not only that but also to monitor their activities and participating in communities to identify customers service pattern and trend.

Conclusion:
Regarding all the above mentioned issues and facts, social networks can be an excellent driver for a business in so many terms whether the company is click and mortar or virtual. By having access to social networks communication with customers will be easier, companies can focus on marketing aspects as well as sales improvement by utilization of customer relationship management and public relation management. Due to intense rivalry in existing global market, it can be considered as a core competency in order to achieve competitive advantage against rivals which leads to increase in sustainability, profitability and maintaining market share.

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The Benefits of Stainless Steel Roller Chains

Typically, roller chains can be found in a lot of mechanically powered systems. For instance, you can find them in a number of environments like automotive industries and agriculture systems. Examples of automotive industries they are used in are bicycles and motorcycles. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at some of the common benefits of roller chains made of stainless steel. Read on to find out more.

Rollers chains are also commonly used in conveyor belts and many other industrial assembly environments. Aside from this, you can find these systems in many other environments too.

Advantages of Stainless Steel Roller Chains

Although these products are made of other metals as well, stainless steel is the most common one. This is because this metal offers a lot of benefits. Some of them are listed below. Please note that this list doesn’t talk about all the benefits the unit offers.

Food Applications

Stainless steel roller chains are quite popular in the food industry for many reasons. One of the main reasons is that the steel offers immense strength unlike other metal types you can find and use.

Therefore, products made of this metal can withstand even extreme conditions. Another good thing is that it’s much easier to clean. For instance, in an environment where food packaging, processing and handling is done, you may need to clean the chain more frequently. This is what makes these roller chains a great choice.

Temperature Resistance

Another great thing about these roller chains is that they can work fine even if you place them in an environment where temperature exceeds 400 Celsius. In the same way, they won’t stop working even if you use them in a place where temperature drops below -20 Celsius. This is what makes it an ideal choice in environments that are not good for other metals.

Corrosion Resistance

They are also corrosion resistant even if used in acidic or alkaline environments. In many industries, these roller chains are used either in alkaline or acidic settings. This is why they are preferred in a lot of industries. Aside from this, it offers quite low magnetic permeability. Therefore, we suggest that you opt for them instead of other options out there.

Heat-Treated

Another good thing about these chains is that they are heat treated for a lot better temperature resistance. Plus, they are put under a lot of stress for testing purposes to reduce the chances of stretching issues or premature leakage. So, as far as safety is concerned, this is the best choice you can take. They can save you a lot of money due to their long lifespan.

Long story short, these are some of the most common reasons why these roller chains are quite popular these days. Although they can’t be the best option for all types of applications, they can work well in many environments. Therefore, if you want to opt for them, we suggest that you give them a go. You won’t regret your choice.

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