Is there a place for social media in a boring business?

Is there a place for social media in a boring business?
You might be thinking, “My business is boring and unremarkable and I’m not about to be a Blend-Tec or Chiplotle. Why would I participate in social media?”

Here are a few great reasons:

Public relations – It’s likely that some aspect of social media has to be incorporated into any plan for media relations, crisis planning, even planning and community relations.

Word of mouth advocacy – Social media opens up an entirely new way of identifying, and nurturing powerful online advocates for your brand.

Cost savings – Social media represents an extremely cost-effective communication channel. Most research shows that in terms of many traditional measures, the results are as good, or better, than paid advertising. There are many opportunities to leverage existing content and marketing materials across vast new audiences.

Customer service – Social media has become a magnet for people to complain about poor products and services. It’s the new 800 number. So, answer the call!

HR and recruiting – Social media, and particularly LinkedIn, has transformed the human resources function. A candidate’s “social media footprint” can become more important today than a resume! Are you trying to find talent or be found? Social media is critical.

Internal process improvement – Using the free tools and information on the web can help improve employee productivity, collaboration, and problem-solving.

Lead generation — Setting up a simple Twitter search can help you find customers looking for your products and services… whether you are boring or not!

Reputation management – Today, you need to be tuned-in to the conversations on social media and respond quickly or risk problems going viral.

Research and development – An active customer community can be a goldmine of new ideas, and suggestions for product innovation.

Search — Google is now showing tweets more prominently within search results. You're can be discovered via your LinkedIn profile, blog post or video as well as a website. An entire generation is finding business services through Facebook search.

Social proof — In a world of overwhelming information density, we look to clues from others to make a decision. How many positive reviews do you have? How many Likes or followers to you have? People make decisions to connect to a company based on these badges of social proof.

The Trade Show Dilemma – Have you ever had to sit at a booth during a large industry trade show? You did it because if you weren’t there, people would think something was wrong. Not being on Facebook or Twitter sends the same message. It shows you “don’t get it.”

The Net Generation – Your next pool of employees, customers, and competitors – prefer to use the social web over any other form of communication. You might enjoy reading a paper copy of The Wall Street Journal each morning. Nearly half of Americans under the age of 21 cite Facebook as their primary source of news. The social media is where many people are going to connect, learn, and discover.

So the answer is “yes.” There is a place for social media, even in a boring business, but your “conversation-ability” may influence how much effort you put into it.