Social media is used by business throughout the globe to further their relationships with customers, increase awareness of their products, mission and brand, and increase sales. But what about YOUR business? Have you considered social media, but think it really doesn’t apply to your business sector? You may be wrong! With a strategic vision for what you hope to accomplish, social media offers the unique opportunity for smaller companies to level the playing field like never before. While some business owners may be skeptical of the effectiveness of social media, others have realized legitimate returns through greater brand awareness, increased web traffic, enhanced customer service, better relationships, and higher sales.
Holland Advertising : Interactive Partner, Mark Holland, offers his top 10 reasons why your business should utilize social media and all it has to offer.
- 1. Social media can be cost-effective, with a focused plan. Yes, memberships to social networks are free, but time is not, and neither is developing a winning strategy on how to make them work for your business. A significant time investment for strategic planning up front will equal big wins down the road and ensure that you’re constantly on track to meet your goals.
2. Your customers are always connected. More people communicate with friends via social networks more than with personal email. Social media sites account for more than one out of every 4 minutes spent online. This boom in online activity has caused a huge shift in the way companies attract and interact with their customers.
3. Networking. One of the greatest things about social media is that it allows you to connect with people and generate opportunities that may never have occurred otherwise. Build relationships and then slowly introduce your business offerings. Doing this too soon will likely push potential customers away and possibly cause you to be labeled as a “spammer.”
4. Sales. Social media outlets have been conduits for a multitude of important sales deals. As with any sales-related activity, success lies in the approach and relationships are key. Though interacting with someone on Twitter or Facebook may not prove immediately beneficial, you’re developing valuable connections that can be leveraged later down the road.
5. Your competition is probably already there. Don’t lose out on your piece of the Internet pie. Social media is valuable online real estate, and small businesses have just as much right (and perhaps more need) to participate than their larger counterparts. An underdog’s best friend, social media gives everyone the same opportunities and boosts status for companies of all sizes.
6. Brand awareness. Social media offers unlimited opportunity to increase brand awareness for your company. Whether you’re creating or updating your “Fan Page” on Facebook, writing content for or promoting your company blog, “tweeting” about your newest product, or dozens of other tactics, you are ultimately building awareness. Just remember that whatever you post will stay around for a while – it helps to have a strategy in place to ensure that all of the shared content elevates your brand.
7. Customer service. Unhappy customers will likely take their comments straight to the unforgiving depths of the Internet. Social media offers the opportunity to be part of this conversation, allowing you to monitor in real-time and react quickly.
8. Thought leadership. Focus on sharing content and information that will be valuable to your audience. Always remember that social media is about maintaining a dialogue, not a monologue – talk and listen simultaneously. Engaging the audience is key to building relationships and, hopefully, sales down the road.
9. Rally your loyal fans. If you already enjoy a faithful customer base, social media can be an extremely effective outlet for fans to spread the good word about your company. When they interact with your social media pages, word-of-mouth information is driven to a wider and wider circle of friends. This gives your customers the opportunity to refer your product or service to others, who will likely be more receptive due to the personal recommendation. In a time when people are increasingly validating their spending decisions with online research, this is invaluable.
10. Website traffic. What good is a website if no one visits it? Drive web traffic by bookmarking your site with general and specific tags on sites like Delicious and StumbleUpon. Also, incorporate a blog into your site and update it consistently with quality content. Submit your posts to social news sites like reddit.com, and share a link to your post on networks like LinkedIn and Facebook. These efforts will be extremely helpful in generating web traffic and increasing brand recognition for your company.
Holland Advertising: Interactive
Fresh Ideas. Experienced execution. Greater ROI. (In about 90 days). We are business and marketing strategists delivering big ideas and embracing the latest technology to achieve our clients’ business goals. Visit HollandAdvertising.com and find out more about our history of success or call Bryan Holland at 513-744-3001.