1)Public Relations: Social media is a great tool for communicating with the general public but only if it is part of an imtegrated strategic communications plan - you need to understand stakeholder theory and you need to understand what a PIG is - go look up Menedlow.
Your Facebook page and your Twitter account let you have one to one conversations with people about your brand and products, but it has to be done in a way that builds engagement and interests them - it isn't the equivalent of a coporate market stall!
Consumers – people – have fun reading postings, liking posts, and getting to learn more about who you are as a brand. And, anyone can quickly and easily jump on this wagon. This is the most popular use for social media - just go and check out Alexandre Orlov and Comparethemarket.com for a slautory lesson in using social media this way.
I recently had the good fortune to trial Netbase's software that lets you do excatly this and it is awesome. If you are serious about social medi amonitoring this is the tool you need.
- Do you want a communication channel for your consumers?
- Do you want to actively seek questions and solve problems?
- Do you want to listen to the ebb and flow of the internet?
- Do you have specific research problems you need to solve?
You may not have the time or the budget to delve into every area but one of them probably meets a need you’re currently trying to fill.