Every social media platform serves a unique purpose and a unique set of audience. While a lot of companies are already riding the bandwagon too well, there are far and few between that haven’t harnessed the power of social media completely.

In this article, we will examine 3 different social networks and the unique business functions you can try in 2016. From hiring, branding through to customer service, let’s see which social networks can help you and how.

LinkedIn for Hiring

According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 89% of career builders networked while seeking their current job.

53% reported that networking with former colleagues effectively helped them land their job.

Job seekers are increasingly reaching out to current employees of hiring companies, as the survey indicated that successful job seekers were 9 times more likely to research the current employees.

The passive approach to the innumerable opportunities offered by LinkedIn would be to post an ad and then pray for candidates to apply for the job.

For instance, Accenture posted this job offer.

Accenture posted this job offer

When I clicked on it, it showed 11 people from my school who work at Accenture!

People from my school who work at Accenture

This is one way to do it.

However, last year, LinkedIn made it possible for companies to see employees’ connections. This is your million dollar opportunity to hire more effectively.

So how does this work?

Accenture can see its employees’ connections and source eligible candidates from their connections. This is a more proactive approach of using LinkedIn for hiring.

If you are not keeping an eye on your employees’ connections, you are missing out on a great recruitment opportunity.

My advice would be to make full use of each social media platform and recognize its various functions. If you learn to use LinkedIn more effectively, you could hire right people and reliable talent with firsthand knowledge of the candidate.

Some do’s and don’ts for recruiting on LinkedIn

  1. Find all the ways you can connect to a prospective candidate.Find all the ways you can connect
  2. Find common skills and expertise between your employee and their connections if you are looking to hire for similar positions.Common skills and expertise between your employee and their connections
  3. Don’t send an InMail before you check out the list of other recommendations by LinkedIn.

Check out the list of other recommendations

Use Snapchat for Branding

Snapchat has recently announced a very business-friendly move to launch snapcodes or snaptags. Basically it’s the cooler younger brother of the nerdy QR codes that were found everywhere a couple of years back.

This feature allows you to slap on your product, company or event logo to promote your product, contest or event.

You can use these snapcodes everywhere from your Twitter profiles to other marketing channels. These snapcodes will make it easy for your audience to scan your snapcode, follow you and discover your content on Snapchat.

Use Snapcodes everywhere

You can add absolutely anything from images to vectors and your logo to your snapcodes, just make sure it doesn’t interfere with the dots and the ghost outline.

See how The O2 uses snapcodes to share their behind the scenes.

Domino’s used snapcode as its Twitter image for a long time.

And here are some snappy ideas created by E2M designers that can be used for various businesses, genres and events. Feel free to use the ideas.

Snappy ideas

Some do’s and don’ts for creating snapcodes

While it may seem fun to create snapcodes, bear in mind some do’s and don’ts.

  1. Make sure your image or vector lies well within the white ghost space and doesn’t interfere with the yellow background or black dots.
  2. If you are new to SnapChat, use your logo to establish your branding as much as you can.
  3. If you are an established brand and want to create a snapcode especially for a launch, discount offer or event, create a creative snapcode like shown in the examples above.

Use Twitter for Customer Service

Most businesses are using Twitter for marketing and promotions. But how about customer service?

From Southwest Airlines to Zappos, you may have heard how these businesses are using Twitter for customer service and delight. However, not all businesses would be as open and transparent as them to imbibe customer service on Twitter.

The question is should you do try servicing customers on Twitter or any social media for that matter?

  • If you find that a good number of your customers and potential target audience is on Twitter, the answer is yes.
  • Customer service through Twitter costs you fraction of what it takes to run call centers. According to Twitter, cost per resolution on Twitter is one sixth of cost of phone calls. So if you are looking to cut costs, Twitter may be the answer.
  • You can also respond to Twitter’ queries faster, sometimes in less than a minute or two. This is the surest way to delight your customers.
  • You can also stop your Twitter account from being a ranting ground for disgruntled customers. Use it instead to delight angry customers by genuinely listening to them and solving their problems.

These are just some of the reasons to use Twitter for customer service. In my opinion, it’s too late to be discussing if you should be doing it, rather we should be discussing ways of doing it.

Some do’s and don’ts for customer service on Twitter

  1. Always use a separate account for customer service.
  2. Make it clear how much time would you take to respond. Find out what is the reasonable time to respond to queries (it can vary from an hour to a minute) and mention it in your profile.
  3. Don’t try to be overzealous or overfriendly with irate customers. Be friendly in a strictly polite way. The same principles of customer service apply on social media – so cut down on bae, bro and dude.

With these tips, you can nail the social media and its newer business functionalities in 2016. Remember social media is all about personalization, promptness and prospects, so make sure you hit all the 3Ps in the New Year.