Can social media improve your bottom line? New research says yes, proving that companies can make use of these vital tools to improve sales and make more money.
Despite skepticism from most business insiders about the real dollar value of social media networking, a four-year study released by global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company at the end of 2010 shows that the money really is there for companies that learn to leverage such tools.
The study highlights not only the importance of social media in connecting with your consumer demographic, but the ability of online networking tools to deliver serious results in sales and business income.
McKinsey & Company found that certain social networking tools and activities were more effective than others. Their recommendations include the following four initiatives:
- Integrating social media tools into employees’ everyday work. (This was found to be crucial to success at driving sales through social media efforts.)
- Drive adoption and encourage practical use of these tools within the business.
- Make use of social media reporting to enable a freer exchange of information within the business, enabling employees who deal directly with customers to make decisions that support the brand’s mandate.
Use social media tools to interact more effectively with customers, employees, and business partners.
Companies that are already taking these steps have experienced unprecedented improvements in their efficiency and income—and the research indicates that these changes are possible for any business that follows these guidelines in the development of web 2.0 initiatives.