I wanted to create this blog in the hopes of providing a no nonsense, straightforward platform for tips and advice on how to use social media effectively to engage your customers and drive new business and revenue. So whether you are a small business that is just starting out or already have a well-defined social media plan, this is your go-to guide for advice and guidance on how to approach social media marketing. It will cover everything from summaries of the major platforms, how to measure your success to examples of companies doing it right.
So before we start covering the advanced details let’s start with the important basics and discover what social media is, how it is being used by businesses and why you should be joining in.
What is Social Media?
Social media is the means by which people interact with others in virtual communities and networks allowing them to create, share and exchange information and ideas. With the rapid popularity growth of these new technologies, social media has had a profound impact on the way people discover, read and share news, information and content. Social media encompasses all forms of ‘user generated’ content, from communication applications such as Facebook and Twitter to multimedia services such as YouTube and virtual gaming platforms like World of Warcraft. It has become extremely popular because it allows people to connect and form relationships in the online world for personal and business use.
How is Social Media Being Used by Businesses?
The benefits of getting a social presence on the web have been felt by every type of business and industry. Whether you have a restaurant, retail outlet or provide professional services, social media enables you to build your online reputation, increase credibility and help generate business and drive sales. By taking advantage of social media, you can make your business gain more exposure, be more personable and generate and maintain long term connections as well as benefit from rich insights into your customers and industry. All of which can greatly benefit your business in the future.
Why Should You Join In?
With the surge in popularity in having a presence on social media, the chances are that your customers and competitors are already involved. This means that on the web is where your customers are talking, forming their opinions and where they’re making their own recommendations to their friends and connections. Likewise your competitors may be already channelling in on those customers and reaping the rewards from engaging with, joining and listening to those conversations. People all around the world may be already talking about your business, so it’s important that you get involved in the conversation and present yourself how you want to be presented on the web. Still not convinced? Here are five more reasons why you need social media for your business.
Social Media is Everywhere and Very Popular
Social Media has become a central part of most people’s lives, whether they are at home or on the go, people are actively engaging online. These users aren’t just sharing updates from their own lives; they are searching for businesses, products, and services, and connecting with brands through their social channels. People of all ages and genders are actively using social media so no matter how old or young, or what gender your target audience may be, chances are most of them are already logging on and waiting for you to get started.
Join an Existing Conversation
Social media provides you with an opportunity to listen to the conversations about your business and industry being openly discussed online. Not only does joining this conversation mean you can hear what is being said about you, it also means you can easily develop a richer understanding of your customers and benefit from insights into your target audiences. Moreover, it can also be used to create dedicated communities where you can host discussions about the products and services you offer or use your followers as an outlet for helping develop new ones.
Social Media is Great for Customer Service
Customer service through social media is quickly becoming an expectation of consumers. Businesses have quickly come to realize that it offers a unique opportunity to showcase your customer service skills, promote more intimate business relationships with your customers and enables you to cater to your customer’s needs instantly. In a world where everything needs to be done yesterday, a quick response that showcases how much you care about providing a memorable experience can create a lifelong customer. Social media allows you to continually strengthen relationships with these customers through social engagement and because this engagement is publicly visible to others, it can introduce your business to a whole new audience and enable you to reach your next prospective customer.
It Helps People Learn More About Your Business
Social media sites are becoming the go-to place for consumers who want to learn more about a business. If customers are already searching for you on Facebook or Twitter and not finding your business, you may already be missing opportunities to win new customers or inform and engage your existing ones.
Driving Traffic and Improving Google Rankings
Social media can also play a key role in driving traffic to your website and improving your search engine optimization. As well as providing more creative ways to engage customers and direct them to your website, you can improve your SEO simply by integrating your active social profiles with one another.
What are your thoughts? Why do you think some businesses are still not realising the benefits of social media as a marketing tool?