Social Media Consulting: Seven Surprise Uses for Social Media
As a social media management firm, one of the biggest misperceptions we encounter is the idea that social media is only for certain types of small business entities. It’s not! Today we are going to talk about just a few of the surprising uses for social media that you might never have even thought about. Be sure to pay special attention because chances are, social media might be able to help you no matter what your area of interest! In the meantime, put your thinking caps on and spread the word on how social media can literally help make the world a better place by decreasing crime, helping the elderly, supporting special causes and even electing the leaders of tomorrow.
1. Social Law Enforcement. Remember the advent of a television show called “American’s Most Wanted”? At the time it was a totally new idea – broadcast a short clip of a fugitive along with pertinent information about the crime and potential whereabouts then put the public to work. Hundreds of criminals later, the power of the pubic crime solving ability remains a cornerstone of detective work. Today that same concept is being taken to the next level thanks to social media. For instance, nearly instant access to literally millions of social media users is being harnessed to help find missing children (when times of the utmost importance), identify criminals and even locate stolen property. It should come as no surprise that law enforcement agencies are now top users of social media sites like Facebook!
2. Social Vote. President Obama was the first major candidate able to tap into the power of the people during an election year…but that was four years ago. With a pending national campaign in the works, social media sites are ablaze with political messages, networking and even fund raising. Few candidates would consider forgoing social media while still expecting to win. From local elections to the fate of the future presidency, social media is increasingly vital to the social vote.
3. Social Adoptions. It might sound a bit surprising that adoptions lead the list among the power social media users but once taking the full range of services and sharing of information into account it becomes clear that it’s a match made in heaven. In fact, adoptions of both children and animals are making major inroads into the education, outreach and follow-up of adoption related services. In fact, non-profits of all types are increasingly turning to social media for more and more of their marketing, fund-raising, information and other events.
4. Social Health & Wellness. From fitness trainers to chiropractors, family practitioners to genetic counselors, health and wellness may never be the same! Undoubtedly the Internet changed the face of health and wellness across the nation but now it has gone full circle as both professionals and patients flock to social media sites to share information, ask quick questions, perform reviews and discuss current trends. Independent practitioners are increasingly aware of the value of social media marketing while patients appreciate the ease and convenience of asking a quick question. But health and wellness isn’t limited to physical functioning; other outreach programs include substance abuse “buddies” that are available when a person in recovery needs a friend during a tough time in recovery, grief and support groups to assist care-takers or those that have recently lost a loved one and even virtual caretakers which check in with the elder or homebound to make sure their needs are met each day.
5. Social Worship Services. Churches are turning to social media to send out a bit of daily inspiration, provide quick reminders about special events or even create quick action alerts on behalf of members in need or other forms of crisis intervention. In fact, social media is so popular among religious crowds that many are forming their very own mini social sites or specialized circles.
6. Social Studies. No, this isn’t that high school class you used to sit through every day but instead, a new way of helping students remain academically viable through online tutoring, tutorials or other resources. Everything from fast study tips to helping fill out financial aid forms to online reviews of colleges and instructors. As online education continues to grow, it’s only natural that social media forms the foundation of nearly every aspect of education.
7. Social Banking & Borrowing. If the recent rash of financial misconduct hasn’t left you feeling a little underwhelmed with the average bank, then perhaps you won’t be interested in the emergence of social funding but the remaining small business owners, entrepreneurs and individual borrowers are flocking to social banking and borrowing sites like there is no tomorrow. It’s one of the hottest trends you’ve never heard of and social media is at the heart of making it work. From musicians collecting funds to cut a new release to engineers able to transform a prototype into reality thanks to venture capital funds, social banking and borrowing is being used in nearly every way imaginable.
Can your business, favorite charity or organization benefit from social media marketing? In all likelihood yes! It’s often merely a question of building the right tools and platform to reach your audience in the most meaningful way possible. For more information, contact your social media management firm to discuss what options and alternatives are available to maximize outreach, minimize cost and attract new contacts for a fraction of the cost required to hire in-house help!