Social: IRL stands for Social: In Real Life. The name reflects our belief that social media is not something that simply exists online, but is a medium that seamlessly syncs online and offline and has a tangible “real life” impact on individuals, businesses, organizations and communities.
Social media is bringing about a fundamental shift in the way society communicates. It empowers individuals, businesses and organizations to connect and interact as never before. It provides a means of creating new relationships and enhancing existing relationships. It re-defines community, creating online and offline communities that co-exist and interact.
It redefines how we do business. Customers make decisions based on social influence. They turn to Twitter, Facebook and other social networks to seek recommendations and referrals, to ask questions, for customer service, to find special offers and promotions. Sometimes simply to share their experience with a particular business, be it good or bad.
Conversations take place about specific businesses on a daily basis, not just about national brands but at a local level. Many times the business being discussed fails to pay any attention or respond, either because they are not listening or are simply not present in the social channels where many of their customers are active. Ignoring conversations about your business can be costly and can result in negative PR, missed opportunities, and lost sales.
At the same time, social media offers many opportunities for businesses and organizations to proactively reach out and connect with what can be a highly engaged and dynamic audience. To build valuable relationships, to listen, learn and react, to gain referrals, build top of mind awareness, drive word of mouth marketing, serve customers, connect with prospects, and ultimately drive sales.
Social media is not a “magic solution”, nor is it a stand-alone solution. It is something that must be integrated effectively in to overall marketing, public relations and customer service strategies. Ultimately is should be integrated as a company-wide business function. It is a tool that should be used to help you more effectively, efficiently, and competitively, achieve your overall business and communications goals.
To effectively integrate social media requires authenticity, and a willingness to listen and engage, not simply broadcast. You must be relevant to your audience and provide content that has context and delivers value. You must focus on an attitude of service.
Ultimately your employees must also be part of the process. Since most will be active social media users, they represent your brand online whether you choose for them to or not. It’s important to develop effective training and guidelines that empower your employees to represent you, and themselves, in a positive and professional way, and that ultimately empower them to engage with the online community as effective brand ambassadors.
The process can seem daunting, you may have concerns over time and resources. At Social: IRL we provide comprehensive services to help businesses at all stages of social media integration, from those with no experience to those well on the way to social maturity.
Social: IRL can work with you on a single project or on a full retainer basis. We bring extensive experience of more than 12 years in the media industry, leading the transition from traditional to online to social media. We work both locally and nationally and have enjoyed partnering with some of the most respected names in the industry.
In a crowded space with many jumping on the “social media bandwagon”, we bring credibility and are proud of our reputation. We don’t focus on buzzwords. We focus on an integrated business goals first approach and on generating tangible results.