Creatively harnessing … resources

In a recent blog post we looked at the issue of creatively harnessing your connections – number two in a four-post series about focussing on harnessing the potential in your social media program.

This time around, I’d like to have a look at how you can creatively harness your resources.

Social media is often thought of as an external tool only … but it can be more than that.  There are ways you can harness resources in a range of ways that will deliver serious benefits to your organisation.
Cost savings
Social media is not just a one-way tool that allows you to broadcast to the masses free of charge.  If you use the two-way nature of social media, you can use it for:
  • Research.  If you have a social media community, you have a group of people who can provide you with some very good research into your products, services or customer service procedures.
  • Market testing of messages.  Before you go to the expense (either production or lost opportunity), you can use social media to test messages to finetune your marketing BEFORE it goes to market.
  • Administrative overhead.  One of the most popular ideas in my 501 Great Social Media Ideas for School book relates to using social media to set meeting times and save hours in administrative overhead.  It is possible.
  • Project collaboration.  Wikis are one tool that allow you to bring people together to collaborate – this idea uses more of the word ‘social’ and less of the word ‘media.
Harnessing resources for social media maintenance
Social media maintenance is one big challenge for organisations in this space.  You can actually use social media tools to creatively manage resources to produce:
  • Content.  Ask your community to contribute content on your behalf and you will instantly cut your resources issues in content creation by 50%.
  • A stream of comments and feedback back to your organisation.  Testimonials still rule in communication, even if you take into account the explosion of technology we now face.  We still trust people in an olde worlde ‘word of mouth’ way.  So use your social media to collect these resources.
  • Social media program maintenance.  Who knows … there may be people in your own community you can tap to help out by maintaining your own social media presence.

Again, focussing on the word ‘harnessing’ rather than ‘creative’ can deliver you serious benefits.

So which resources are you harnessing?

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