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Dynamic Business recently sat down with Misha Logvinov of Lithium Technologies to learn how small business can do social media better. Here’s what he had to say.

Lithium Technologies is an enterprise software company that helps businesses build customer communities.

They specialise in helping businesses infuse their social capabilities throughout their entire digital ecosystem – be it websites or other applications – to help customers better connect with their brand.

We spoke with the company’s CCO to learn some of their secrets.

Responsiveness is the key to success on social media

Misha Logvinov emphasised that all businesses need to be nimble, agile and responsive on social media platforms.

“Younger generations are no longer expecting to give us a call or even send an email to businesses. They all go to Twitter and Facebook to engage with brands and to engage with each other, so being able to capture these conversations and channel them to the right functions within an organisation and respond in a timely manner is critical for any sized business today,” said Logvinov.

“Where it was acceptable 10 years ago for a company to take a day or a week to respond, nowadays it’s unacceptable, and if someone contacts a brand or a company via Twitter they expect an answer within minutes, and at most, a couple of hours.”

“If they don’t get a response within the time they expect, the outcome for the company can be negative … so being nimble, agile and responsive in social media is absolutely critical,” he concluded.

Logvinov also recommends companies to build customer communities from the very early stages of the business because it can “help build an army of fans who will not only help each other but will feel a lot closer to the business.”

Social media is not the answer to all social challenges

Discussing some of the hot trends for social media today, Logvinov explains that more and more companies are realising that the simple act of users clicking ‘like’ on a company’s Facebook page does not necessarily lead to increased profitability. He recommends that businesses integrate social media into their websites to promote greater engagement with the brand as a whole.

“Especially in the enterprise space companies are realising that Facebook is not the answer to all their social challenges, and neither is Twitter. [They’re especially realising] that likes don’t immediately translate into value and it’s hard to quantify what exactly they’re getting out of starting a fan page on social media,” said Logvinov.

“When it comes to engagement and maximising [a business’] value in their interactions with customers and customers interacting with each other, they actually need to do it on domain rather than on social networks, because at the end of the day, Facebook and Twitter is not designed to be business-friendly, they are not designed as knowledge-sharing or knowledge-management systems.”

“They just create noise. That’s why we’re seeing more and more companies come to us saying ‘we want to be able to use social networks to continue to acquire customers but we want to put them into our domain and enable interaction on our sites, within our digital desk points’,” he said.

How small businesses can measure the success of social media campaigns

There are numerous ways businesses can quantify return on investment and success. Some of the more common ways, Logvinov explains, is by calculating the number of ‘likes’ or ‘retweets’ on articles and updates on Facebook and Twitter, as well as the number of comments they receive. He goes on to say that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) plays a significant role in the success of a business’ social media campaigns.

“Different companies measure success differently. Some of the more common ones of course are through social customer care – both reflection or creation of what content is being reused by multiple people. So instead of picking up the phone, and calling your support line which is very expensive, especially for small businesses, now you’re starting to create quality content that can be reused by millions of people,” he said.

“SEO plays a huge role as well. What we’ve seen with some of our customer communities is that their SEO quality of news properties is very very high. This is contemplated by the users, and Google’s algorithms actually pick that up and they really promote that type of content organically. So when you search for certain kinds of content, often times there appear to be communities at the very top.”

The Australian market

On a final note, Logvinov commented on how Australian companies have been particularly innovative with building customer communities – for example, Commonwealth Bank’s ‘MyWealth’ and Telstra’s ‘CrowdSupport’ that have redirected what would traditionally go to call centres into online customer community spaces.

“We see the Australian market to be highly innovative and really pushing the envelope and being extra social… even the financial institutions that are traditionally very conservative are social. [Australian companies are] really spearheading that effort worldwide at this point so it’s very exciting to witness what’s going on with this market,” he said.

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Tasnuva Bindi

Tasnuva Bindi

Tas is a journalist at Dynamic Business. She has a passion for visual and performance arts, feminist politics, and animal rights. In her spare time she likes to paint, write poetry, and read courtroom drama novels.

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