Can Social Media Help Your Business??? That question continues to be debated in many business circles. To us, the answer is simple. YES. Social Media can help your business. The reality is that the world has changed, and with that so has the way people communicate and make decisions.
The introduction of the World Wide Web provided users with the ability to educate themselves before making decisions. Then came the birth of technology that allowed business to incorporate programs to sell products and collect payments online on a secure platform. This shift in business impacted the World in an incredible way that has still not yet reached its full potential.
Using the Travel Industry as an example, years ago you could find a travel agency on almost every block. For most people nowadays you have to search online plus be willing to drive a distance to find your nearest travel agency. In order to survive, agencies had to embrace change or develop a strategy to continue to do business in a time where people are making reservations through online operators or suppliers directly.
Social Media now provides an additional resource in the decision process. Consumers are using these platforms to not only research products or services but, also to share information. Not sure what you think of a product? Post on Facebook and let others share their experience. So as a business, where do you fit in???
Our concept is simple, Social Media works for all industries and business big or small. If you do any kind of marketing, then Social Media can contribute to your efforts. It’s just a matter of changing the way you approach marketing.
As far as social media being used for business, the reality is that people are doing business on social media very successfully. It’s a matter of creating a strategy that incorporates business with a social spin. Social media does not work for companies using the platforms just to sell products, however, building a network of people that are interested in that product is the key. Social media helps develop brand loyalty and awareness as well as sales opportunities.
Here are some things to get your motors running:
Search Engine Optimization: Google, Bing and Yahoo have all seen the value for business on social media platforms. This helps to explain why they have incorporated social into their search. They would not incorporate these social signals if they did not see a value. Having a strong social media presence accompanied by social engagement is now proving to be a big part of improving your organic Search.
Here’s a sample of what we call the Social Internet. Being in as many places as possible so that your business is integrated into multiple areas of search:
- Social Internet Integration
Word of Mouth: Whether your a B2B or B2C it is important for people to know that your product is available. We believe that word of mouth has now gone social. Why tell me about your greatest deal and hope that I verbally tell my friend? You can easily post it on my network where 1000′s of people can see it. We can all agree that people do not communicate like they use to, but that is simply part of the technological era we live in and we can not change the movement. I use email, text, Facebook message, Google Plus message, etc… to engage with my friends and family. Why? Because it’s easy and that’s the way they choose to communicate with me. I can either embrace the change or lose touch with them and the world. By the way, I speak to my parent on the phone every now and then, however, they enjoy being able to see real time pictures.
Pull vs. Push: Have you heard this term? Push Marketing is where companies are using tools like email, newspaper magazines and telemarketing to get their product in front of the consumer. Pull Marketing is when consumers decide when and how they want to get information on a specific product. Social Media is very much in the Pull marketing category. The delivery of your information goes to a network of people that have said yes, send me your information. I use a vanity email for companies that ask for my email address an check that email about once a month. Think I’m the only one? I assure you this is the case with many databases being used.
Loyalty: Are you confident of your business or brand? Followers and fans usually consist of people that have used or purchased your products or services. Providing information and developing engagement gives your business a personality. A good social media strategy can create a strong relationship and foundation that can be helpful when you need action.
Customer Service: The sharing aspect of social media has forced companies to be on their toes. Consumers now have a voice where they can express their opinions in to thousands of people with a click of the mouse. Avoiding social media will not stop consumers from sharing their thoughts about your business, there’s thousands of social media platforms where people are probably already talking about your business resulting in other people making buying decisions based on what people are saying about you. So why not be there to promote and protect your brand?
Our first social media client was very hesitant do to the fact that they were concerned about customers posting negative information about their products. To their surprise, a quick search on Facebook found that there was a group created with over 100 followers praising their products. These followers became the base of a very loyal network of people who appreciate the fact that now they are able to speak directly to the brand.
And it is very important to know that deleting negative comments is not always the right approach. If people are not happy with your product or services, then there’s obviously something wrong. It’s important to acknowledge the problem and respond to the client to take the conversation off line.
In some cases, fans will do all the work for you. We have seen negative comments posted and within minutes, loyal fans came to the rescue and dismissed the comment. Again, loyalty has it’s benefits.
As I mentioned earlier, every business can benefit from social media. Here’s a great article on the topic “Should Every Business Invest in Social Media?”
We are always up to a challenge, are you stuck and can not figure out how to get started using Social Media? Let us know and we’ll get you started in the right direction….