In recent months we have seen how social signals are becoming an important part of search engine optimisation. There is no second thought a well planned social media strategy makes or takes down a brand. For example, Lady Gaga (Personal branding) who become an Instant hit, Social media played the major role in the success. It doesn’t matter if your small or large business is online or offline, Social media has a great advantage for every business.
I have talked a lot about social media in the past but never really targeted the article for small business owners who are looking to increase sales with the power of Social media. So, here I’m sharing some great benefits of using social media for your business, which will help you to decide should you use social media channels for your business promotion and sales or not.
In coming days, I will be sharing more article on how to create a presence on social media sites, but for now lets look into some of the beneficial aspect of Social media for business.
As the name implies, Social Media is a name given to web-based and mobile technologies that are used to turn communication into what you can call as an ‘interactive dialogue’. This Interactive dialogue can be between organizations, communities and even an individual. The internet allows millions of people to connect to each other and people who own businesses are using the internet for promoting their business to people all over the world by using web-based applications.
In the world that we live in, traditional advertising strategies aren’t enough. Social media makes thing interactive and the way it can be used is very beneficial for all businesses. More over, I’m sure you must have noticed the change in the shift of traditional advertising. Now people consume more advertisement online than on print media or using Television. Hint: Advertisement when you play youtube videos.
Social media has a lot of benefits for business owners as it allows them to reach out to their customers and be able to gain the attention of more people. A recent Social Media Marketing Industry report has shown that social media enables businesses to get exposure, traffic and gain market insights. Below you will read about the benefits of using social media for business owners, that I have seen;
Some Direct benefits of using Social media for Business:
One thing, which I highly recommend for every business owner to maintain a Website in form of landing page and a blog associated with it. For example, a Doctor can have a landing page where people can find information about him and a blog associated with it, which will help him to drive people from search engine. Blog will also help the doctor to get more social media share. If you are wondering what blogging can do for your business, you can open these two articles in new tab for reading it later:
- Check out the benefits of blogging for your business
- Do check out my Presentation on Small business blogging
Anyways, that’s just a tiny example but in real world social media is very vast and require a well strategic planning. When you are using social media for business, you should make sure all your social media profile is updated at regular and constant time gap. Remember, “out of sight is out of mind” and it’s very true in Social media sites.
If you have been keeping an eye on Indian E-commerce world, you will realize how big Snapdeal has become in no time and it all happens with a great online strategy. Companies are spending thousands of dollars per month to monitor their social media presence, engage with people, reputation management and so on. If you as a business owner, still not using Sites like Facebook, Google plus, Twitter, LinkledIn to grow your business social media presence, you are missing out a lot.
People who own a business know how important it is for them to have a website about the business that they have in order to enhance their reach to more people, over the internet. Through social media, you can create a website for your business, and you can allow customers to leave comments about your services and by replying to the comments or concerns that they leave, you can form a bond with your customers, and you increase your chances of gaining traffic. Idea is not to just use Social media for engagement only, but also drive them t your company business page, which will educate users about your work and you might be showing your page to a future customer.
Interacting with your customers
The most important thing about social media is that it allows you to engage your customers in a whole new way. Social media allows you to get personal with your customers and form a bond of trust with them. As mentioned above, by replying to the concerns of your customers and by asking for their opinions, you can make your customers satisfied with what you have to offer and in this way you get more traffic, which promotes your business.
You can share photos and videos about what your business has been up to i.e. the parties you have organized or the charities that you have held, etc. This helps in creating a strong bond with your customers as it helps in making them a part of your business.
Increase in Sales
Now, Social media stratgey requires decent investment, and what really count is ROI. It could be in term of people talking positive about your company or product on various social media channels. But, by the end goal is to convert the user into sales. When you interact with your customers and you form a bond of trust with them, this allows you to create interest in your customers and this way you can increase your sales.
One thing, which I have seen in particular any negative comment about any online business is more harmful than anything else. Any serious business, should have a reputation management team for social media, which not only help them to track the emotions of people in their comments, but also helps in solving user issue and give them a good experience.
For example, you will notice when ever you talk about Airtel (Indian telecom) or any other popular social media brand, you will get instant response and a comment. Maintaining the image of your business is very important. It is a known fact that rumors can easily destroy the image of any business, and this is where you can use social media to help maintain the image that you have. Through social media, you can easily reply to the rumors and the destructive comments that go against your business and help maintain the image that you want your business to have.
One way is, use your Facebook page as an announcement channel for your product or company related news. Also, if you keep your follower updated about what’s happening in your company and things which you are doing, this will help them to stay in loop with your business brand and also increase trust.
As social media is a very efficient way of connecting to people, you can use social media to conduct marketing research. You can make people offer reviews about your business, and you can even conduct surveys. You can also see what your competitors are doing and in this way you can plan what kind of service or product you should be launching.
Social media is very inexpensive when compared to the other advertising tools. The social media tools are free for use for everyone, and that is why by just working on your social media tools for a few minutes a day, you can get a lot of benefits from it and increase your sales and have better relations with your customers. Though in recent days, Facebook is making pages reach tough and require a budget to improve the reach, but you can find a way out by improving engagement on your Facebook page.
You need help from professionals when you want to use traditional promotional tools. However, using social media tools is very easy and as mentioned earlier, very inexpensive.
Traditional promotional tools can also be used to reach a global audience; however, it is very expensive. In contrast, using social media tools is inexpensive, and you can reach a global audience in a flash! If your content goes viral, then there is no telling how many people it will reach, and you don’t have to pay for it.
Now, Social media is all about getting targeted people to join and interact with your business page or profile. You need to follow many rules like (Constant sharing, breaking news, questions, humor) and other strategy to bring all conversation on your page. Here is a guide which will help your business to get more followers on Twitter.
Save on Advertising:
I have already talked about benefits of banner advertisement as it helps in brand awareness, same is with Social media sites. Every Social media site let you add an avatar, which is technically your brand mascot, logo or anything which describes your company. When people constantly see updates on their Timeline (Facebook, Twitter) or mention, you are actually doing brand awareness for your company. You can consider lowering down your budget on advertising and concentrate on Social media marketing plans. More over, ads are like one time investment and one time gain, but with Social media presence, your subscriber/followers will give you long term benefits.
From my experience, What I have seen is selecting the right social media platform for your growth is very important. Specially, Facebook fan pages are very effective to create an engaging community. Here you can learn how to create Facebook page for your business.
If you are a small business owner and have no budget for hiring a social media guy or social media company, there is nothing much to sweat about, as you can always use social media tools like Hootsuite and buffer app which supports various social-media network, and let you manage everything from one page.
So, there you have it, I have told you about the benefits of using social media for business owners. You too can start using social media by creating a website for your business or by using different social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, etc. However, you need to be sure that you need to interact with your customers in order make the social media more beneficial for your business.