One Unlikely Benefit of Social Media

By Breanna Banford, social marketing specialist, Enterprise Business Group

As social media becomes a more prominent B2B marketing practice, we can effectively communicate with our customers in new ways. According to Pew Research, we’re already spending nearly 1 of every 5 minutes accessing social networking sites. Why not put it to good use?

One way to do that is by developing a customer engagement strategy with different levels of engagement – through different channels to build awareness and enable conversations. Social media is only one part of the engagement strategy, but it’s also one that’s gaining momentum among the variety of channels to reach people online.

Last week, I spoke in front of a mix of people at Xerox, ranging from new hires, to marketers and engineers. During one part of the presentation, I discussed the social media activities we initiated in 2011 in the Enterprise Business Group at Xerox. I explained that we created this blog to discuss topics and issues that business professionals are facing daily. This platform allows our blog contributors, who are primarily Xerox employees, to provide their point of view about certain trends and topics that relate to their work and their lives. We find the holy grail when you comment on our posts since we learn more about your opinions and what you are interested in. In the end, that information helps us relate to you and improve what we do.

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Following the presentation, I had the chance to speak with a few employees about their perspectives and answer their questions. It became clear that the information and topics we discuss on our Xerox social media platforms can also be beneficial for my coworkers to stay connected to what’s going on in other parts of the company.

Now, I’m seeing new opportunities that otherwise I would have been blind to had I not presented to these groups. It also brought light to a challenge that exists when working for a larger company, and if you’re a new employee – how do you stay connected to what other teams and colleagues are working on?

There are many ways that social media helps companies share their voice and create a two-way path of communication between customers they may not normally have the chance to speak with. I realized that the same path of communication can benefit our employees. If our employees are following our Twitter handles or blog RSS feeds they have a new avenue to learn more about what other parts of the business are doing, and ultimately find better ways to collaborate with their coworkers.

In 2012, we will integrate with more groups and expand our horizons as we continue to have conversations between our readers and our contributors. What would you like to see from us this year?

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