Restaurant chains have always struggled with standardized systems and processes including recipes and the “right” way to make things for years. One company, Red Robin turned to social media to help stop the inconsistencies. USA Today reported that the company created a network discussion board for the launch of a new product line. This board allowed managers to provide feedback and ensure consistency throughout the process. Red Robin threw away the old training books and turned to an online resource for help. Not only are they showing their staff they have faith in them, but they are saving the environment one training book at a time.
Connecting with customers: Many companies are also using social media to connect with customers on new products and ideas. These are not just any customers, they are customers that want to engage in a conversation with a company they believe in and want to support. This does not only create a relationship with your customer but ultimately creates a superior product. Dell computer division recently created and utilized IdeaStorm to target a specific group of consumers. They wanted the feedback from individuals that would use their product and know it inside and out. Not only did they receive 83 ideas for refinement, but 35,000 people visited the web posting about the new laptop.
Profit: Every business wants to make money and it all comes down to profit. Michael Chui, senior fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute said it perfectly “Heavy use of social tools has a statistically significant correlation to profitability. But it’s early: Only about 3% of big companies used social business tools for all three major uses — reaching customers, connecting employees and coordinating with suppliers.”
It’s obvious businesses can use social media for so many things, the problem is not enough of them are doing it. Not only can these types of processes create customer engagement, profitability and product development it can actually save you money. Maybe that will be the key to convincing the people at the top that the time is now!
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