Social media has taken over everything from our daily lives to how companies do business. According to the Pew Research Center, as of July 1, 2015 over 76% of online adults use social media. For companies, this is a huge resource for expanding business and reaching new customers and markets. Social media allows businesses to do more than ever before with little to no costs, like using Facebook to reach consumers across the world, Twitter to track global trends, or create brand loyalty through Instagram. Social media is changing the way companies run their businesses and can enhance the way you run yours.
Social media has transformed how consumers communicate both with businesses and with their peers, directly reaching out to businesses and letting friends and family know how much they like a product or company. Many consumers turn to social media to rave over a product or service, or warn others to steer clear. Positive comments and glowing reviews on social media can help businesses gain legitimacy with consumers as well as increase their consumer base.
In the event of a poor review or complaint from a consumer on social media, businesses have a direct method of communicating with the consumer to right a wrong and boost public opinion, but social media also allows businesses to interact with consumers in more ways than one-on-one customer service. Interacting with popular social media “stars,” like those on Twitter and Instagram, can help businesses reach new consumers, create brand authority, and create a loyal customer base.
Not only is social media a great way to reach large numbers of consumers, you can do so with little to no business costs. Just dedicating six hours over a week, or about an hour a day, to networking on social media is often enough for a business to start seeing results. Businesses looking for faster results can even pay for advertising through Twitter and Facebook, which is often relatively inexpensive and has the potential to reach far more consumers than traditional print ads.
Social media also allows businesses to have a continuing conversation with consumers, helping to keep consumers engaged and excited for current and future products and services. Companies can do so by creating dialogues with consumers in more ways than just posting comments and sharing pictures and articles. Many companies, like Amway for example, leverage social media to educate consumers through informational or entertaining videos.
Using a variety of social media channels regularly can help companies build brand identity, loyalty, and recognition, all of which help consumers return and draw in new business. Seeing the same company over multiple social media networks helps consumers build trust in a business and the repetition can help consumers remember your brand over others.
Businesses who take advantage of social media can gain valuable insight into what customers want and what they think of a business simply by paying attention to user comments and implementing social listening tools. Social listening is a process companies can use to monitor consumer comments across social media platforms to identify consumer concerns, respond to consumers directly, and create more appealing products or offers based on consumer feedback.
Using social media as a marketing strategy can help your business stay competitive in an age where any business worth its weight has already established a social media presence. For businesses lucky enough to not have any, or many, competitors utilizing social media, now’s the time to take advantage before others get savvy to the benefits of social media.
Building a presence on social media has the potential to create exponential growth as one consumer tells their friends and family about a business and these friends and family members tell more people, and so on. 100 followers can turn into 10,000 before you know it, which often translates to business growth and increased revenue.
Social media is an invaluable tool for every business. When used effectively, social media allows businesses to instantly reach thousands of consumers, provide quick and effective customer service, and grow brand name and loyalty. The sooner you take advantage of all social media has to offer, the sooner your business can reap the benefits.