Social Media Use by Marketers Crucial, but UK Firms can Face Fines without Management Software

December 21, 2014

2:22 pm

As the world of marketing centers around customers, it is primarily dictated by their preferences and trends. Although the use of social media is now a popular tool in any marketer’s arsenal, there is still a certain amount of ambiguity over how to use it most effectively.

The answers to these questions have been, more or less, answered by science with a recent, brief video report on CNET providing insight to just what social media does to our brains. This information can provide marketers with the secrets they need to tap into the social media market, and it highlights that management software really is the way forward.

To expand on these ideas:

Social businesses need to be managed effectively 

Businesses active on social media platforms target their audiences in various ways. But how are they managing and budgeting for their online presence? These firms must ensure that their social media spend is kept within budget and manage both their use of software and how much they spend on it.

In essence, this sounds relatively straightforward but research into social media has shown that it can actually be addictive for users – and this could potentially feed in to business decisions. Around 5-10% of internet users are actually unable to control the amount of time they spend logged-on to their gadgets because using the internet can trigger similar responses to physical addictions.

For marketers, understanding this process can help them understand how and when to target social media with their advertising campaigns but it also has important ramifications for business spending. If users can get addicted to social media then it is reasonable to assume that marketers and businesses could too.

Understanding the limits of your budget and working within them is therefore of paramount importance. Financial management software can help with this and ensure that businesses do not overspend on social media due to their own addiction with the service and the benefits it can bring them.

Why management software?

For those wondering why management software is so important, the simple truth is that social media activity and other businesses can require an extensive amount of work and input. Having systems in place that can take over the management of other aspects can therefore free up the time needed for this and prevent there being any unnecessary penalties or fees.

Just as social media relies on immediacy and accuracy, so too does accounting and processes such as payroll. The introduction of RTI (real-time information) reporting last year was a huge change for businesses and meant that reports must be submitted at specific times.

Getting up to speed with this new requirement was tantamount to business success – just as learning about social media and its impact on businesses is. In both cases, management software proved to be the way forward by streamlining processes and reducing workloads for staff members.

Time is of the essence

As mentioned previously, many business processes surrounding social media are time-sensitive and this is why management software is so crucial. With new introductions – such as RTI reporting mentioned above – failure to stick to schedule can result in fines and other penalties which businesses simply cannot afford.

It was for this reason that firms like Sage One updated their software and services to ensure businesses were not left behind – and social media management tools shared this vision. Programs such as HootSuite were born to allow the management of multiple social media accounts so that all social activity could be kept consistent and this boosted workplace performance.

For social media users this could be especially important as the research on brain activity found that despite the fact heavy social media users are accustomed to juggling different devices and websites, they are actually worse at multi-tasking. This is claimed to be because their high level of digital exposure makes them less able to distinguish between essential and inessential information.

By helping them to take care of more menial processes, upgraded management software helped to reduce this effect and ensure both social media and financial management stayed on course. The examples mentioned above also did what they could to pre-empt errors or mistakes so that businesses had more time for success and less time for repairing damage.

Sage One wrote about how to avoid penalties with RTI – avoiding late fees by making sure all submissions stick to a rigid schedule or reporting any unintentional errors before being prompted by HMRC to stand a better chance of waiving fines – while social media experts advised brands on how to avoid penalties of a very different kind: from Google.

After all, if businesses fail to manage their activity in a professional and appropriate manner then they could find themselves alienating rather than engaging their customers. This makes management software a crucial part of any business outfit – but especially one which intends to take its work onto social media.

 

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Drew Hendricks is a professional business and startup blogger that writes for a variety of sites including The Huffington Post, Forbes and Technorati. Drew has worked at a variety of different startups as well as large advertising agencies.

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