Everyday you will find more and more businesses using social media for more than just plain marketing purposes. Since the boom of the social web a couple of years ago, it is very quickly becoming a simple way of life for many online businesses looking for more awareness and exposure. Is this a good or bad thing?

In my own opinion, I think it is very good. While online reputation management, branding, and internet marketing is important, maintaining and building good relationships with your customers, suppliers, and partners is just as important. And to be honest, social media can help you with that as well.

Social media is an instrument

Many businesses are using the social web as an instrument on communication to maintain the lines of business communication between their suppliers and partners, not just for their customers. This is a very good way to use social media for your business as it can help you with your communication strategy as well. Social media can be used to support your human resources department, sales department, public relations, and of course marketing.

If you have a very big supplier list that is really important to you, why don’t you communicate with them to strengthen the relationship through social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn where some of your customers are hanging out? The reason for this is that your customers can then see that you are interacting online. This PR communication between you and your suppliers can really help you keep business going for both of you. Always keep it positive and always make sure that challenging topics are kept private.

Social media is an instrument on communication. It is really not only for marketing purposes. Use social media to grow your relationships with everyone surrounding your business to make your business more efficient.