Social Media: Is it more Popular than Profitable?

Rumor has it that you can get $50K a year to play around with social media apps like Twitter and Facebook. No joke. More and more job descriptions are requiring some sort of social media skill set. In fact, some larger companies, including over 50% of the fortune 100 companies according to Amplify.com, are keeping a dedicated in-house Social Media Manager. Who knew?

However, there are still many companies in limbo as to whether or not social media is a waste of time or can be considered an asset to the organization.

The Pros: Online relationship building is at an all-time high. Social media tools have really brought transparency to the surface when having online conversations. It’s becoming increasingly more and more difficult to communicate and interact online without be truthful. As a result people can be more trustworthy as to who they’re dealing with.

The drawback: It harder to separate business and pleasure since social media tools work in both spheres. Having said that we can’t really argue against the fact that people do business with who they know, like and trust and have established a relationship with. And isn’t relationship building more than just knowing someone in a work environment?

So the big question is how can we make social media tools like Facebook and Twitter more profitable than popular?

First there would need to create some tangible metrics that could measure profitability. Second a company policy would need to be implemented that restricted access to all personal social media to keep it “company-based” and only work related so that salaried hours are not being wasted. Third use social media to monitor customer service and take action on the concerns that customers and potential customers have.

I’m not fully on board yet as I haven’t seen some tangible properties that show social media can be profitable. However, I do love the aspect of transparency. I think social media, as it stands right now, is an amazing tool for customer support. It gives companies the ability to monitor open dialog about what people are saying about their products and services. If companies then choose to do something about the concerns people have about their company floating around the social media channel, then they can consider social media as an intangible business driver.

It’s kind of ironic in some ways, that because of social media, business is returning to the old saying of, “it’s not what you know but who you know, and probably most important who knows you.” only online. Only time will tell if social media can thrive a legitimate business tool or will always be just a popular social playground to see what your friends are doing.

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