In the effort to stay relevant and cover a wider range of market, business people are relying more and more on social media as a method of advertising their businesses and selling their products.
Receptionists and sales personnel are rarely the first contact for customers anymore, with tech-savvy prospects using web sites, Twitter, and Facebook pages as the first reference that most people use when researching a company.
With more and more people turning to social media as a platform to buy and sell products, every entrepreneur should have a social media platform to represent their business and consider whether these platforms might represent an opportunity to advertise their products and services.
Curiously, however, there are still holdouts in the business world, who consider Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and others “just for kids” or “or just people posting photos of their breakfast”. These social media ostriches are still looking for the business justification that shows them there can be a strong ROI from engaging in social media.
If you are in the difficult position of trying to convince your leadership that engaging in social media is worth the investment, we’re here to help! Below are some of the benefits that we find justify the use of social media for a business.
Increase Brand Awareness And Exposure
Social media is a good platform to expose your business to new and potential customers. One good story or post with a link to your site can expose your business to a multitude of people who will of course talk about your business to other people, creating a opportunities for you to grow your audience.
You can always use social media to showcase your product or explain the details of your services without necessarily having to meet your clients in person. It is important to keep updating information about your business, for example new products and services, reduced or increased prices, or business changes like a change of location.
Learn About Your Target Market
As a business owner, you can also use social media to learn about the interests of your clients and potential customers. Learning about what your clients like and dislike could help you come up with services that suit their demands, and means of advertising those products and services.
Spending time listening to social conversations about your products and those offered by your competitors might help you advance your current offerings.
Provide Better Customer Services
These days, customers do not use phone calls to make a complaint about a product. Instead, they use social media to air their grievances.
As a business person, listening to the social media dialog created by your customers can help you identify issues in near-real time and reach out to the costumers who need help.
This way, you can also address other customers who might have encountered the same issue, but haven’t spoken up about it. By answering the question or providing a solution, you create a searchable explanation that others can refer to in the future.
Respond To Questions/Concerns With Quick Feedback
Through social media, good and bad customer feedback is instant. This will also work for you as a business person because the time you take to know whether a product’s advertisement was a success is also shortened.
One of the advantages of social networking is that it gives you an opportunity to respond to and solve customer related issues faster.
Present Opportunities To New Markets
If there is one effective way to learn about new market opportunities, it is through social media. You get to learn about changes in the market that might work in the favor of your business or market shifts that could negatively impact your business.
Monitoring real-time conversations and market changes, could provide you ample time to prepare for any changes on the horizon.
By monitoring new market opportunities, you could also gain insight on what to include and what to avoid in your offerings to the target demographics in the emerging market.
Conduct Competitive Analysis
Social media can provide an opportunity to keep a close observation on your competitors, and if the need arises, you can directly target your competitor’s traffic with advertising or social media messaging.
Keeping a close watch on your competitor’s activities can also provide ideas on how to improve your products and services so that you can level the playing field or even outweigh your competitors services.
Increase Sales Through Community Engagement
One of the major reasons why is social media important for business is that, if done in the right way, it can help increase your sales. If you target a traffic that is seriously in need of your products and services, the market could respond to your messaging, and raise awareness of the opportunity your product or service provides.
Social media also gives your customers a platform where they get to know and understand your brand, which will work very effectively in building their trust in your products and services.
Increase Awareness And Generate Leads
Social media is a great tool for inbound marketing that can help a business owner collect leads and build their email list.
Publishing posts that are useful and related to your brand plays a big role in attracting traffic to your profile page, and eventually, customers to your business.
Develop Brand Equity
What most people often misunderstand is that the social media profile of a business is, in a way, one measurement of the worth of the business. Social media can provide investors a way to understand how consumers view your brand and how connected the business is to their customer base.
High volume of negative comments could scare investors away, reducing the brand equity while a vibrant, thriving relationship with the online community could help attract investors and, eventually, increase the value of the brand itself.
Remain Relevant in The Market
One indicator of how long your company will stay in business is determined by how relevant you are in the market you serve. The best way to achieve this is to stay in constant communication with your customers, and always be aware of their changing needs.
Social media, as part of a business communication and monitoring plan can help you gain insight on adapting your brand, products, and services to effectively deliver quality to your customers.
The Final Thought
At times, social media can really frustrate a business person due to its time-consuming factors and the fact that only a small portion of the content generated is tailored for business. As social media becomes more integrated with both our personal and business lives, opportunities continue to emerge for all small, medium and large business enterprises.
With the right social media tools, and if planned and executed properly, your business can reap the benefits of a consistent communication channel with your customers and partners, through the use of social media.