Digital marketing of business through social media has transformed into not only a powerful tool, but the driving force for profits and ROI businesses need. In an age where information is easily accessible, consumers routinely look for information about businesses and the opinions and experiences of others. Consumers use social media tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google +, while other social media networking sites like Pinterest and Instagram generate consumer interest as well.
A well-designed social media presence can bring new customers to your business and support the needs of existing customers. Of the many companies that utilize social media, 90% claim to have at least one measurable business benefit. For businesses, there is a correlation between social media use and profitability, but only when they successfully develop social media as a business tool. In addition to attracting customers, the use of social media networks has many other benefits.
For most small businesses, arranging a business meeting may not be difficult, but for medium or large businesses it can create logistical difficulties. Work retreats, meetings, and conferences often cost too much for employers to organize. Social media satisfies this need with connections. Divisions in which employees are unfamiliar with each other can discuss common problems via social networks and also generate solutions while sharing experiences.
Social media is a powerful tool for promoting brand, but if not used correctly, it can harm rather than help brand image. Interacting with customers where they are is the best way to promote your brand. Find out where conversations about your company are taking place and promote your brand there. This requires a strong degree of social awareness and defining both target audience and their interaction habits.
Once the audience is clearly identified, keep your brand message active through consistent content that possesses collective social wisdom. When social content is consistently engaging, customers interact and share content more readily. This requires businesses to provide timely content relevant to the customer.
Social media can also have negative consequences. Negative reviews or stories can harm business, and few know how to mitigate the negative effects online. Too often, businesses use social media to react to customers rather than making customer interaction part of the everyday customer experience. Businesses should be proactive and share information or opinions that are relevant to the brand and industry. This helps negate poor exposure and builds brand loyalty.
While consistency is important, your business must listen to customers and deliver more than lip service. To effectively monitor and promote your brand, listen and manage conversations by sharing knowledge and information that is up-to-date without duplicating the same message repeatedly.
Large companies routinely benefit from social media use by addressing customer concerns and using feedback to improve products or develop new product ideas. By following customer comments and tracking “likes” on Facebook, companies learn what is important to customers. Building efficient social interactions into the customer experience improves customer satisfaction, retains customers, and increases revenue through greater up-sell opportunities.
Fully incorporating social media into the customer experience brings optimal ROI and is accomplished when companies deliver brand promises. As consumer behaviors change, small businesses need to recognize those changes and adapt with them. This means embracing social technologies as a part of everyday business practice and dedicating part of the business day to managing social media accounts. By remaining socially active, your business will differentiate itself from other brands and possibly influence customer behavior.
Designing Social Presence
Social media as a business tool connects your company with your audience (whether employees or consumers) on an authentic level. After creating an audience profile, your company will be better prepared to design and deliver message content on the social network your audience prefers. Not all social networks are the same; different channels are favored by different audiences.
Optimize social presence by creating ways to share content and include a call to action (CTA) asking for more engagement. To get customers talking, ask for feedback and respond positively to all responses. If your company is small and lacking a person dedicated to maintaining social channels, find time to respond to a few comments a day or share links to show your company is active and relevant.
For more information on how social media can help fuel your business’ growth, contact iBoom today.