Evolving Functions of Social Media Platforms


social media

Last week, my roommate and I were discussing the recent local news that had flooded both of our Facebook news feeds that day. I then realized that we now get our news from Facebook, or at the very least the hot topics being discussed by our friends. My roommate agreed with me: “That’s because Facebook got boring, so we changed the way we use it”, she said. And she was right.

According to Gartner, social is more than just digital marketing. Sure, social media is an important, not to mention effective, part of any digital marketing strategy. But your social also goes beyond its value for digital marketing. For instance, Gartner points out that many companies are using social media as a highly valued CRM tool. Companies like Hertz and Kia UK use their social media to engage with unique customer posts, inquiries, and customer service issues.

Talking with my roommate made me realize a change that has been occurring on Facebook for quite some time now. I mean, I have noticed the decrease in photo albums uploaded, tag notifications, and status updates—But I guess I didn’t’ realize what type of utility Facebook had turned into. Instead of news about friends and family, my newsfeed was now full of, well, news. And hot button topics, and articles and clips that had gone viral.

Yes, social holds more value for a brand or business than just digital marketing, but what else besides marketing, news updates, and CRM?


Social media is a great way to recruit new employees. One of our clients, a staffing agency has a lot of success on social media.  We are constantly pulling from their job listings page to post individual job links across social platforms: Twitter is used most consistently, with LinkedIn also serving as a great resource.

For recruiting purposes, social media is highly effective. Rather than just posting the link or announcing a new job, highlight what specific jobs might entail, what qualities would make a good employee, etc. By getting creative with it, you can construct posts that the ideal future employee would find interesting and want to click.

We also recommend using (not too frequently) hashtags that will also help your job postings reach potential employees. Some hashtags we use when tweeting out a job are: #Omaha #Nebraska #Jobs.

Recruiting is all about making sure you are reaching the right potential employees, and social media is a great tool do so.

Industry Awareness

For many of our clients, we use social media to raise industry awareness. For example, for Reclaimed Enterprises, our client in the deconstruction and reclaimed materials space, we often use social media platforms to introduce followers to industry leaders that may be more established in the space. This includes both original posts and retweets.

We utilize social media as a tool to provide followers with industry specific resources.

We also use blogs to raise industry awareness, crafting content on the basics of industry terms and processes. Good social media for industry awareness means just that: helping your followers and consumers become more aware of the specifics of an industry.

Community Awareness

Fairly similar to industry awareness, social media platforms are great means of spreading community awareness. We work with a few non-profit organizations and foundations, and their social media differs vastly from the way we promote the fitness centers.

We curate way less from outside sources for our non-profit organizations. For them, it is more important to discuss and promote the particular topics they are raising awareness for. It is also important to try and stay focused on the certain community/area they are involved in. Energetic and friendly posts about news around the community are a great way to drive engagement. It also helps to find certain people to thank across social media—the biggest goal for spreading community awareness using social platforms is getting the community to engage.

Even though the majority of companies may utilize social media for marketing, it does not mean that is the end-all, be-all. If you have a well-thought and detailed strategy at hand, you might be surprised at the utility you can get out of social platforms, even if it’s a little out of the box.

Reprinted by permission.

Image credit: CC by mkhmarketing

About the author: Catherine Walsh

Catherine is Editor at Social Media Contractors. She graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where she earned her B.A. in English and M.A. in English, specializing in Rhetoric and Composition/Ethnography.

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