When it comes to social media, many business’ are interested in ROI. Having a team of people (or even one depending on the size of the company) can take away hours/hour of the day they could be spending on other tasks. This means it needs to be worth that time for business owners to jump onboard.
But are there other benefits to social media besides the bottom line? What about if it provides a free forum for your employees to learn and grow in your industry? Would that be worth it?
You can spend thousands of dollars to send employees around the country to certain industry events. Now, this is a great networking and learning experience itself and shouldn’t be disregarded—but what if you could do it for free?
Twitter is becoming more popular in the arena with the use of forums like #journchat. The basis is simple, you have a moderator and a set day and time to be on Twitter. Whoever is moderating numbers the questions and participants discuss each question and tag their response with the appropriate hash tag (in this example it would be #journchat).
By tagging the responses anyone following the conversation will be able to see your answer even if they do not follow you. #journchat is for the journalism, blogging and PR communities, but this is not the only forum out in the Twitterverse. By having your employees visit these forums, they will have the opportunity to stay current on industry trends, have conversations about controversial topics, and make great networking connections.
You can choose to pay your employees for their time to participate, or simply suggest that they participate. If they are go-getters they probably will be excited about participating and would do it if it was mandatory or not.
On the flip side, if you think you would be able to give great information on your industry, try and set up a discussion yourself. It may take some time to get a good number of people interested, but this could be a new avenue to look into—and could produce some good ROI. However you choose to use social media, remember the key is to stay active, and be part of the discussion.