Many companies and business leaders have continuously shunned the adaptation of a social media strategy simply because they have not had an opportunity to learn what the Social web has to offer. But first things first, let me define what Social Media is so that it ceases being such a mysterious business tool. Social Media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community based input, interaction, content sharing and collaboration. These can be websites and applications dedicated to forums, microblogging, social networking, social bookmarking and social curation. Examples include among others Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ etc. It’s undeniably true that the internet had little meaning to businesses until today when businesses are able to share content directly with their existing and future customers, partners and suppliers.
In the late 1950’s , the proponents of Word of Mouth Marketing began to reflect on the importance of opinion leadership and network influencers as a way of shaping consumer behavior. Today, social media has perfected the role of influencers in relationship building and business customer engagement. The Social Media conversations between consumers and brands are not simply sales pitches, but rather open, honest and transparent interactions to help develop relationships that encourage brand loyalty in the long run. If you are new to Social Media you might find it difficult to believe that a few blog posts, daily status updates and likes are going to magically grow your business. Let me now focus on the following ten ways how usingSocial Media can help you grow your business;
- Improve Customer care service
Companies need to start using Social Media as a means of handling customer service, which is a win-win situation for both the customers and companies alike. Customers want easy access to companies to seek information and clarifications about the services and products while at the other hand companies want to position themselves strategically to be able to solve client’s problems as efficiently as possible and be the center of solutions. For example Twitter has become a popular medium for managing comments and complaints, with countless companies embracing its simple and informal nature.
- Inexpensive Effective Marketing
Whether a large business or a lone entrepreneur, social media marketing can be the most inexpensive and powerful tool in your arsenal to build the trust and authority. This exponentially will help grow your business by reducing on the cost of traditional marketing which reduces the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) hence maximizing profitability.
- Service and organizational improvement
Social media presents a huge opportunity to companies to listen to their audiences who may include direct and indirect customers, partners, direct and indirect suppliers, government bodies and established business authorities. Listening will eventually help you improve as a result of complaints and maintain as a result of positive feedback.
- Sharing your Relevant Company Message.
Social media provides a platform that easily enables companies to spread their message to existing and future potential customers. Many organizations struggle to have their top management monthly, quarterly or annual messages published in dailies and magazines. Social media enables to send the right message to the right people that are unswervingly connected to the company. Sharing the right message to clients creates a synergy effect of others allotting the same message hence creating online ambassadors.
- B2B and BPO is easier
Beyond reaching customers, Social media provides businesses the opportunity to engage with one another, especially on platforms like LinkedIn. Social media also facilitates the possibility of Business Processing Outsourcing where one company is able to partner with another domestic or foreign company to do work on behalf of the other. The best example is a Kenyan company hiring the Social media marketing services of a Ugandan company. Collaborations, sales and relationships are easily fostered through proper use of social media which has allowed several businesses to engage with one another. Developing a social media strategy is the new way of selling by educating your leads and developing trust with your prospects. It’s also highly conducive to networking allowing professionals within companies to build relationships and discover new avenues to explore.
- Create a Unique Voice
A brand is a crucial part of business; it creates a particular image that people bear in mind and associate certain values with. Having a strong social media presence naturally creates a unique voice through which a company can engage with their audience, who will raise the value of the content more than ever. A brand presence does the inner and deeper communication to your clients that’s why it is pertinent to keep in their midst through social media. With so many companies competing for clients, social media is the platform ideal to highlight the unique qualities of your company.
- Promotions and Brand Campaigns
Social media promotions draw in new users and returning old customers alike, providing a new outlet for sales, deals, potential business partners and the like. Making them exclusively available through social media drives traffic to the company’s web page which in turn generates buzz surrounding a brand. Almost everyone in society is on one platform or another, reach out to them and give them some value. Promotions via Social media have a wide reach effect due to the sharing of content by both your customers and fans.
- Reach Unique audiences
Reaching everyone is just about impossible, yet many companies see social media as an opportunity to do just that which has for a long time been problematic. Instead of trying to reach everyone through traditional media, social media provides an opportunity to reach the right audience. Discovering the perfect people to engage with works wonders for businesses. Today attaining a specific group is more manageable than everthanks to unique platforms like WeChat, Snap Chat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and many more.
- Discounts and Freebies ,
Different regions have different peak business seasons. Social media avails a massive opportunity to maximize sales through discounts and freebies. Here a company takes advantage of their followers on social media and offers them special discounts on specified volumes of purchase or freebies to the loyal followers. This enables companies to convert fans and followers into actual customers who later on become loyal to the brand.
- Brand Leadership
Companies that establish a strong social media presence have always had an opportunity to subjectively shape industry and consumer behavior. This permits the company to establish itself as a brand leader from whom other companies learn. Once social media presence and vigilantly managed, there is no doubt that the industry reputation and respect will upsurge. This is a dream every company around the globe wants to achieve but only those that operate transparently and do not shy away from social media attain such industry status.
For companies to be able to effectively leverage on all the opportunities Social Media can offer, a proper and well thought out Social Media Strategy should be drawn. Businesses are always surprised at what they find when they begin to really use social media to connect with their customers daily lives. There is a lot of value that comes from really knowing who your customers are and what they are saying. That’s powerful.