Social media and business: A necessary partnership
Business use of social media is hot so why aren't more Canadian-owned companies taking advantage of it? Much more than simply a platform for far-flung family and friends to keep in touch, social media is one of the hottest marketing strategies to hit the industry in years. Not surprisingly, a 2011 survey by the Print Measurement Bureau found that Canadians under the age of 25 make up about one third of those who use two or more different types of social media while those under 35 years of age make up six out of ten users.
Focus on Social Media
In order to tap into that all-important segment of the population that dictates the latest trends in all aspects of business – young adults – a company must market themselves where those people are most likely to be found. Given the extraordinarily large amounts of time that people devote to socializing via this type of media, it makes sense for a business to include it within their business strategy. In order to reach their long range goals, a business needs to have a solid social media strategy that focuses on marketing itself effectively.
Use it as a Piece of the Puzzle
Diversification is key when it comes to marketing. While businesses should make a concerted effort to use social media to capture more attention, this is not to say that they can let other methods fall by the wayside. Instead, social media needs to be thought of as a vital piece of a successful marketing strategy—albeit one that gives a business an extraordinary amount of reach and influence as well as unprecedented opportunities for connection.
Advantages of Using Social Media
Given the sheer numbers of Canadians that use Facebook, a business that does not tap into that resource could be missing out on hundreds – if not thousands – of new customers. Indeed, Webfuel found that in 2013 over half the entire population of the country – or about 19 million people – use the undisputed social media king on a regular basis.
RELATED TOPIC: 4 reasons your business should be on social media
Many people turn to sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to find the answers to their most pressing questions. These problems run the gamut of where to find a reliable mechanic to who serves the tastiest ethnic foods within a certain province to the nearest dentist that specializes in gentle care. After all, who better to guide a person through life's bumps than a circle of friends, regardless of how near or far they might be.
Sharing success stories and recommending businesses by tagging them within posts opens up avenues of marketing for a business that simply are not possible otherwise.
Taking a page right out of the appeal of social media sites, businesses can tap into the ease of engagement of the platforms. Informal, casual and with a definite flair for fun, a social media presence provides a business with the opportunity to engage with people far from its home base as well as those within its neighborhood. Connecting with people across the country increases a business's reach which can only be good for their bottom line in the long run. When a business is tagged by another social media user, this gives them a golden opportunity to engage with people who have directly indicated their interest.
RECENT TOPIC: 6 ways to attract and retain top talent
Using social media is an effective way to build excitement in a brand, event or activity. Whether a business is a start-up or one that is introducing a new product, involving their followers builds loyalty and goodwill. What begins as a small ripple as a few people "Like" a business's page or tags a noteworthy post winds up being an effort that spirals across the country. Tapping into the creative genius and curiosity of social media users when it comes to naming or adding new products, for instance, generates excitement and new customers.
Building connections between social media platforms—by using Instagram to post pictures on Facebook, for example, or inserting Twitter hashtags in Facebook updates—allows a business to do double duty while reaping expanded benefits. Reams of marketing products that sit around gathering dust are not a necessity when using social media. Having a highly visible logo, tagline or some other means of standing out from the competition, however, is considered a necessary element of a successful marketing strategy.
Disadvantages of Engaging in Social Media
While the below examples are noted as disadvantages, they can often also be thought of as being advantageous to the smooth marketing of a business. In any case, there are ways to minimize the disadvantages associated with using social media.
There is a reason why social media platforms are so popular: They are a fun and addicting way to keep in touch and find out about the latest happenings across the country as well as around the world. Posting witty updates and following up on comments can consume a great deal of time if it is not kept under control. Many businesses hire marketing companies to handle this aspect of the job for this exact reason. Others designate a certain employee as the social media expert.
The users of social media often like to air their grievances on their favorite platform. This can often be a painful experience for a business that bears the brunt of this anger. Savvy businesses, however, turn such inevitable occurrences into opportunities to reach out to their customers and make amends. Rather than ignore issues when they are pointed out, smart businesses can use social media as a platform to show that they listen to their customers and do whatever they can to make things right.
Lack of Material:
Being able to deliver fresh and smart vignettes on a daily—or even weekly—basis could prove to be more than one person can handle. While some updates can be tied to seasonal occurrences, new product announcements and other noteworthy events, finding fodder for those posts can be a challenge for any business. Using a marketing expert on a regular basis turns this disadvantage into one that is simply delegated to those who have more time and creative energy to devote to it.
Social media is not going any; in fact, all indications point to its continued growth. It is time for Canadian businesses to tap into this growth potential as a way to expand and increase their options. A lack of a social media presence could result in stagnation and loss of creativity.
Source: http://www.pmb.ca/public/e/product_data/social_media.pdf, https://www.webfuel.ca/canadian-social-media-statistics-2013/
Sutherland Healthcare helps digitize human experiences
Sutherland Healthcare is a partner in your quest to achieve the Quadruple Aim of improving patient experience, clinical experience, and health outcomes—while lowering costs. They help optimise the value potential of the technologies at hand, remapping existing processes into end-to-end solutions that advance the art of the possible.
Exposing clients to the value of automation and analytics, Sutherland Healthcare ramps up those capabilities into “service as opportunity” as appetite and ability permit. They free up capital, energy and leadership attention for core competencies and leverage what others can do better, growing their client teams’ skills and capabilities for future success.
“We serve clients from back-office processes, through to the end-of-customer experience and along the way, leverage big data and deep analytics,” said Matthew Collier, CEO of Sutherland Healthcare.
“We bring a deep domain expertise to each industry, particularly in healthcare,” commented Collier who stresses they meet their clients wherever they are on their digital transformation journey. “From the earliest spectrum of outsourcing through to the point of cloud, we can meet them.”
Founded in 1986, Sutherland Healthcare is a global organisation with over 15 locations and 5000+ employees including healthcare development, analytics and data science teams. With an average Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 80, Sutherland Healthcare uses proprietary analytics, omnichannel and back-office platforms, bots and tools. They work with six of the top 10 US health plans and more than 100 health industry clients – from stand-alone hospitals to large health systems and medtech companies.
For 12 years, Sutherland has been a partner of Northwell Health - New York’s largest health system serving 11 million people.
“This has been a true partnership and the outcomes have been really impressive,” said Collier who pointed out the following savings:
- 15 per cent year over year cash collections
- 37 per cent reduction in bad debt
- 18 per cent decrease in average AR days
- 15 per cent increase in our engagement
The company heritage of being a “future-ready organisation” came to fruition during the pandemic. “By having deeply digital technology enabled service in the RCM arena, we were able to flex up and down with demands from clients,” said Collier.
“Most health systems will tell you that their data is a gold mine both for clinical benefit and economic value. A more apt description is that it is like an underground oil field which is not very useful. But by partnering with us we can help extract that oil and put that data in the cloud. We can help to refine that oil using our proprietary data monetisation tools to make that data interoperable.”
“Within the first three weeks of COVID-19 we had everyone globally working from home. A treasure trove of technologies enabled us to do that effectively while safeguarding Protected Health Information (PHI).
“Sutherland is at its heart, a tech enabled services company and that gives us the edge when the best solution is neither a technology or services solution, but rather the hybrid of the two.”