This is part one of a two part blog. Stay tuned for the other half: Even More Benefits of Social Media for Businesses.
Over the past decade, social media has gone from being a tool for friends to socialize with to a business platform used for brand awareness, sales, and customer service. Companies all over the world have jumped onto social media platforms to increase business, and why not? In today’s world, everyone is online all the time! In many ways, there is no better way to get your brand in front of the public eye than social media. There is a seemingly endless list of reasons why businesses should have a social media presence. So we’ve split our list into two! This is the first five (of ten!) benefits of using social media for business.
Increased Brand Exposure & Awareness
This is potentially the most obvious and straight-forward benefit to having a social media presence. However, it is also one of the most valuable and important reasons for having a social media presence too. Considering the current state of technology, it can be a struggle for your company to thrive unless the public can see and interact with it. Not to mention, by having a social media presence your company is just one click away from a huge pool of existing and new consumers!
What’s even more valuable to a company - having a social media presence is much cheaper than other forms of advertising! There is always an option to pay more if you want even more exposure or results, but even a small investment (whether time or money) can have a huge impact on your brand recognition.
Also, expanding your brand exposure and awareness through social media gives current and potential consumers the opportunity to get to know your business. This gives a consumer the chance develop a stronger understanding and connection with your company, improving your chances of keeping their business moving forward. With more than 70% of internet users actively using social media, just think of the exposure for your company!
Improved Customer Service
It’s common knowledge that quality customer experience is key to long-term success for a business. However, is a phone number and email address good enough if a consumer has a concern or a problem that they need help with? Will the response be quick enough? Will you be able to turn a trouble customer into a brand advocate?
With the emergence of social media, consumers are often hesitant to directly contact a company through traditional channels with their concerns. Instead, customers are opting to comment through social media. Whether it be through leaving a comment (negative or positive) on a company’s Facebook page, or commenting about their experience with a company on their Twitter feed, people are actively engaging with companies every day through various social platforms.
To take it a step further, consumers have a knack for portraying companies in a negative light. If your company isn’t equipped to deal with these consumer complaints, you could be in for a public relations nightmare! In a survey conducted by The Social Habit, it was found that 42% of respondents who have complained about a company, or tried to contact them on social media, expect a response within 60 minutes. 32% of respondents will expect a response within 30 minutes! If your company is equipped to handle customer concerns through social media, you’ll be able to save face in the eyes of consumer and maintain a positive image for your company.
Have you ever created great advertising content for your company, but wondered if it was reaching the right people? This is a common concern for businesses everywhere. If your business is throwing marketing materials out into the world with no real awareness of who those materials are reaching, you are likely throwing away money and you’re probably not realizing the results you had hoped for. Social media for business greatly minimizes this problem.
As a business, you are able to set parameters with regards to who your business is exposed to. Facebook, for one, does a fantastic job helping businesses gain exposure to the right audience. With Facebook, you can target posts and ads based on location, age, gender, interests and even relationship status! Every platform is working daily to add more specific targeting parameters to help businesses. Basically, social media is a great way to attract the right audience for your business for a reasonable cost.
The days of cold calling are over! With social media being as huge as it is, new and innovative ways of generating leads have started pushing traditional lead generation into the past. Because social media allows you to target content towards particular segments
of the population, lead generation is easier and more effective than ever!
Once you have set out who you are targeting, the key becomes content. If your company is posting content that is both relevant to your brand, and valuable to the customers, and interesting in some way, you will attract an audience that genuinely appreciates what your company has to offer. In other words, if you build it, and put it out there the right way, they will come.
Keep an Eye on Competitors
Presumably, your competitors will also be on social media (if they aren’t, you’re already ahead of the game!). Because of this, you have the ability to use social media to keep an eye on your competitors.
Naturally, your company is always competing with someone else. It’s a back and forth battle to obtain market share and grow. Through social media, you can gauge what your competitors are doing, and use it as a measuring stick to see what your company can do to grab an edge.
Another neat aspect of using social media to keep an eye on your competition is that you are also able to see their followers, and the people interested in their company. This means that you can target their fans to broaden your reach, and improve your market share even more! You also have the opportunity to put your own spin on their good ideas (that’s the name of the business game...just do it better!). Having social media for your business isn’t always about sales. Sometimes, it’s just about gaining an edge.
For a business of any size, having a strong social media presence is crucial to thrive and grow within its industry. Making sure your business capitalizes on social media marketing is most definitely time consuming as you have to ensure you always maintain your presence. However social media provides businesses with so many measurable and unmeasurable benefits, that it is time well spent. Keep your eyes peeled for Even More Benefits of Social Media for Business - coming soon to a SWAY blog near you.