There are many ways in which social media can improve your business. It’s arguably now essential that businesses have some sort of social media presence, whether on a single platform like Facebook, or across multiple sites; doing so can help you to connect with customers on a daily basis, and can encourage significant brand loyalty; at the same time, it’s crucial to be able to use different platforms appropriately, and to be able to respond to criticism, seek out new markets, and make the most of local consumers.
Social media enables you to connect with your customers on a daily basis, and provides you with a platform for marketing new promotions, and an opportunity to reinforce brand values. This might take the form of regular updates on Twitter, suitable partnerships and cross promotions on Facebook and Youtube, or themed collections and blogs on Pinterest and other sites. Perhaps most importantly, social media gives you the opportunity to get customers returning to your brand over and over again.
Making Use of Different Platforms
Another way in which social media can improve your business involves using different platforms in appropriate ways; compared to buying print space or paying for television and radio adverts, social media is highly cost effective, and can be used to coordinate a single campaign across many different sites. You can consequently cover different bases to hit different audience targets, whether that means updating news on Twitter, or using Facebook to run contests and limited time promotions.
Responding to Criticism
It’s also becoming increasingly important to use social media as a forum for responding to and dealing with criticism and any crises that might arise; this might mean fielding complaints about your business on Twitter, or just providing answers to questions. With proper social media training, you can know how to best respond in difficult situations, with the aim of avoiding any activity that might damage your brand identity.
Keeping on top of social media marketing can allow you to reach audiences in ways that you might not be able to with other media; the reach of social media means that you can find specialist niches all over the world, while reminding loyal customers of the value of your brand. In this way, social media can boost your brand’s profile in a short space of time, and can be used to quickly spread updates and new messages to large groups of followers.
Also key to social media’s effectiveness for businesses, localisation involves making sure that your business has a presence on social networks that can be accessed through smartphones and GPS systems - being able to show up as part of local area searches, and being able to tailor particular deals to particular parts of the country, can create significant awareness that can translate into market leadership. Marketing campaigns that combine the global and the local can therefore use social media to reach large numbers of people simultaneously, while also enabling you to be very precise in targeting some offers.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
With social media having more of an impact on search engines it is becoming a hugely important online marketing tool. Facebook likes and Twitter mentions, or social signals as they are now being referred to as, help play a part in ranking your site higher up the search engines. The bigger your fan base coupled with the effectiveness of your social interaction is the key to utilising social media.
This is a guest post by Liam Ohm, who writes about technology, from social media to infrastructure design. In his spare time he enjoys networking, travelling and cycling.