For many, it’s hard to imagine the world today without the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Social networks have changed the way we, as consumers, communicate and collaborate. Importantly however, it’s crucial to consider the huge effect that social networks have also had upon businesses. They have changed the way in which businesses operate today, and opened new and creative channels for businesses to communicate with their consumers.

Social media is a game changer: it has influenced all aspects of the relationship between brands and consumers. It enables brands to increase communication and add depth to their offering. The Always ‘Like a girl’ campaign, which began on social media, is a prime example of how a brand can add value and represent more than a product. The campaign unsurprisingly resonated with females across the world and went viral.

Social networks increase brand loyalty and create opportunities for businesses to convert potential customers. Businesses can now reach out and communicate on a personal level daily by being more targeted with their consumers and this is something that was never possible with traditional marketing.

The challenge now lies in how businesses can effectively use social networks, particularly in the Omnichannel customer journey. To a consumer this is the ability to engage with brands across multiple platforms, and the opportunity to buy into more than just a product.  For a business, this means leveraging and coordinating the customer experience across multiple platforms to ensure consistency in the customer journey.

But this particular challenge cannot be underestimated. FromWeChat to Line, Facebook, Instagram, Skype and LinkedIn; there are so many different platforms, and each approach must be different.

There are many levels to this. Today, social networks are no longer simply a promotional platform. Even though it is sometimes described as a customer management channel, Social media is, in fact, creating an outlet for immediate, uncontrollable reactions.

That’s why we recommend businesses focus on 3 aspects: uniqueness, positivity and consistency.  In other words, be different but be relevant and don’t underestimate the role social networks play.