social media as a communication tool for businesses

When social media came into existence, it was more for sharing personal information or common interests with friends and relatives. However, social media expanded to encompass businesses and started playing a key role in their external and internal communication. Companies that are serious about engaging their employees and reaching out to customers can’t afford to ignore social media.

Social media and internal communication

Potential loss of productivity is the main concern for businesses when it comes to not allowing social media in the workplace. A study on workplace productivity points out that employees spend about 77% of their time on social media while on the job. Small businesses are no longer spending their time and energy on figuring out how to stop their employees from using social media. Instead, they are now focusing on how to make social media more productive in the workplace.

Since millennials are extremely active on social media and around 42% of millennials use social media at work, a lot of small businesses should have plans to engage their young workforce in employee advocacy or social selling programs and reward them.

Social media and external communication

Since 86% of business-to-business customers use social media daily, small businesses should take to social media to connect and engage with their potential customers. Social media comes with a dual advantage. It not only helps small businesses to maintain their relationships with existing customers, but it also brings new customers. Social media can help small businesses rapidly disseminate and amplify content promoting their products and services. Social media has the lowest cost of advertising whereby 1,000 people can be reached for just $3.

There are many social media tools available in the market that can help small businesses in their internal and external communication. While some tools are useful in creating and targeting content, others can be used for identifying and engaging customers, scheduling posts, reporting, analytics etc. We have identified 10 social media tools from which small businesses can benefit, provided they learn to use them right.

1. Clariti

Clariti is an affordable and easy-to-use tool for social media marketing and customer support. It is especially useful when a marketing and customer support team is involved in creating, posting and tracking social media content. Clariti automatically downloads selected social media posts (currently Twitter) that you can share with your team with your comments. For example, customer support teams can “listen” to their social media channels to keep track of any negative comments by their customers. They can share the comments with other team members for resolution, so the issue doesn’t fester. Positive social comments from users can also be seamlessly embedded in the company’s social media marketing.

Clariti also connects related interactions from different communication channels such as email, chat, calls, cloud storage, and social feeds into context-based TopicFolder. That too happens automatically in real-time without your active intervention. For instance, when you receive an email or tweet, you can immediately start chatting from the email or tweet and the recipient can understand the context that you are talking about – without you having to forward the email or tweet! Later, both the email and chat transcripts are saved automatically in a TopicFolder.

Buzzsumo is powerful online tool that allows any user to find out what content is popular by topic or on any website. In order to provide the content that people want to know, you need to know what is popular. It can take hours scanning all the various social sites to find out what people are talking about and what their concerns and needs are. Being able to input certain search criteria, analyzing content and finding out what is trending in your domain can be priceless to a marketer to help sharpen focus and provide direction. Buzzsumo helps with that.

Sprout Social is a social media management and optimization platform for brands and agencies of all sizes. Sprout Social provides a single hub for social media publishing, analytics and engagement across all social profiles. There are plenty of benefits to using Sprout Social such as the ability to manage all your social profiles from a single platform, in-depth analytics to understand how your brand is performing on social platforms.

A simple and beautiful social media management platform architected for B2B enterprise companies. With Oktopost, B2B marketers can schedule large volumes of social content across multiple networks, track valuable business performance metrics, and integrate social data with their entire marketing ecosystem.

5. Brand24

Brand24 is a social CRM and Internet monitoring platform. It collects real-time social data from across the Web to empower you to keep track of online conversations and comments made about your brand and products. Brand24 allows you to interact with customers, manage your reputation, gather valuable consumer insights, measure the impact of marketing and improve sales.

Agorapulse is a social media management tool that enables agencies, businesses and marketers to manage all their social media messages, schedule and publish content, identify key influencers, monitor social channels, and get stunning reports all in one easy-to-use dashboard. Agorapulse currently supports Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

7. Bitly

Bitly helps businesses shine by transforming their online content links into powerful tools for marketers and customer support teams. With Bitly, creating, sharing and monitoring your links shouldn’t be a drag. Bitly helps you work faster and more intelligently—with features like branded links and the ability to redirect any link—so you can relish the sweet taste of hitting your performance goals. Understand what content is resonating with your audience with comprehensive metrics on every link and campaign—like clicks, geographic data, and top referring channels. Bitly takes the guesswork out of your link performance so you can share more of what your audience wants.

PromoRepublic is a social media marketing solution with content distribution workflows for small businesses, agencies, and multi-location brands. With PromoRepublic’s intelligent products, you can easily distribute editable content, schedule it based on AI, manage multiple clients or locations, run local ads, and stay on top of the results.

9. Semrush

Semrush is a leading online visibility management software-as-a-service platform. With over 50 products, tools and add-ons across online visibility management, including tools for search, content, social media and market research, data for more than 140 countries, seamless integration with Google and task management platforms, Semrush is a critical solution for all companies who are serious about online presence.

10. Buffer

Buffer is a social media management software to drive meaningful engagement and results on social media. You can use Buffer’s suite of products for planning and scheduling your content, analyzing results, and engaging with your audience. Buffer helps social media marketers and teams work more efficiently and effectively.

Small businesses that have adopted user-friendly policies towards social media at workplace can sign up for any of the above tools and see their business growing rapidly due to increased employee engagement and customer retention.


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