Social media has become such an integral part of most people’s day to day lives. You’ll constantly find yourself checking your phone or computer to see what’s happening on Twitter, Facebook and any number of other social networks. What this means to businesses, is that they now have an exciting new resource to reach millions of potential customers, quickly, easily and cheaply.
However, simply setting up social profiles it is not a fool proof way to lead a brand to success. To keep your followers and fans entertained and engaged, you need to ensure that the messages being delivered and relevant and interesting. It is also important to try to encourage two way dialogue between you and your customers, rather than just sending one way messages out. Listening is just as important, if not more so, than talking on social media.
Using social media as part of your brand’s internet marketing strategy is beneficial, as it is a unique method of communicating and building relationships with potential customers, current customers and fans. Because social media is so interactive it offers an effective and affordable means of building a trusting professional relationship with a business’s target market. However, caution should be exercised as it can make a brand vulnerable to bad feedback, even though it is a priceless resource in brand promotion when properly managed.
Having an established presence on various social media platforms not only provides exposure for your brand, which is always beneficial, but provides your business with valuable research tools to fully understand your customer base.
Valuable market research can be conducted by properly monitoring analytics and data compiled from information collected from social media activity. This can give you valuable insight into the preferences and patterns of consumers online, including their other interests and shopping habits, which could help you better understand the market. You can use this research to present your business in a way that is likely to appeal to people who currently or will probably support you in the future.
Social media is also useful if you’re trying to gauge public opinion, as customers will post personal views of their experiences with your brand, as well as voice concerns and problems.
All feedback is valuable because a brand that listens to what the consumers want out of a product or service will do a better job of satisfying their customers, and in turn be more successful.
Various social media platforms
There are dozens of social media platforms out there nowadays, so narrowing down which ones your company should be present on can be a daunting task in itself. When asking this question, the answer is simple enough – whatever social media sites your customers use are the ones you need to be using.
Many of the social media sites are obsolete and outdated, making them ineffective and almost considered dead zones for activity. Don’t waste time with these long abandoned forums, like MySpace and AOL, as they are long past their prime. Instead invest time in current and popular sites that are teeming with activity, like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest so that you can maximise your exposure.
Return on investment
Our biggest asset is our time, and social media can make huge demands on that time, therefore making it a significant investment. In business, every investment is carefully calculated against the pay-out, and being active on social media will afford your company a range of benefits, including:
- Gaining the attention of potential customers and broadening brand recognition
- Drawing traffic and attention to your professional website
- Bringing an element of humanity and approachability to your company’s image
- Constantly and personally interacting with consumers, allowing you to implement changes where needed, and remain viable in the marketplace