Interestingly, some businesses are still skeptical about the value social media can contribute to their organisations. Social media have become very essential for personal and organisational branding, communication, engagement and sales.
While such skepticism might be understandable, it is not justifiable when it is discovered that it is responsible for corporate communication breakdown and business loss. As posited by Eric Qualman, author of Socialnomics, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media; the question is how well we do it.”
The digital age provides a level-playing field for all brands. But whether or not brands are interested in playing on the global field is a question.
Here are five reasons and benefits of using social media for your business:
Social media is a powerful tool for creating, distinguishing and maintaining a strong brand presence both online and offline. It gives access to the world of endless human and resource connectivity. Businesses can build formidable brands through social media without a huge budget.
This is one comparative advantage of social media over several other means of marketing. Through social media, small businesses have emerged industry challengers; personality brands have also gained prominence just by tapping into the benefits of being social. Social media give a voice to brands and promote their reach without borders.
Businesses are primarily set up to produce products and render services, hence, the need to constantly get a clear perspective into who your targets are, where they are, what they are doing and how you can reach them. Social media offer such analyses, helping your business to make smarter choices through business chains.
For instance, Facebook and Twitter offer targeted audience analyses for organisational pages, giving you demographic details of your audience. This in turn, creates a better insight into designing more customer-focused products and services.
Engagement and feedback
Customers go online to share their views and sentiments. Social media are where businesses could listen to them. As a business, social media give you instant access to customer perspectives, reviews and thoughts – positive or negative. This informs the next line of action as a business. This is often referred to as ‘social listening’. Prior to the rise and dominance of social media, listening was only possible through traditional research methods. Now, brands are able to save a lot of money hitherto spent conducting research into the information already on social media platforms.
A market research outfit, NM Incite, said, “71 per cent of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others.” The importance of this on brand and product performance is that brands that are not on social media cannot receive feedback from their customers, while brands that are active on social media increase their chances of transacting through recommendations. This has become one of the most effective means of brand promotion.
Understanding market landscape is decisive for business growth. Through social media monitoring, you can gain key information on your competitors and market intelligence. The outcome of such social intelligence gathering process is to help make more strategic business decisions and stay ahead of competition.
Setting up streams to monitor competition can significantly help to improve market strategies. The caution, however, is to not to be blown off by the activities of your competitions.
Social media are largely defined by the streams and stems of conversation on, around and about content that could turn out to be a potential market lead. Users are constantly giving clues on what they want in products and services. Listening to industry-focused conversations helps in determining when to join conversations and ultimately map and reach out to prospective customers. Lead generation is, certainly, a sure path to building an active list of prospective customers via social media.
Navigating the social media landscape could be reasonably challenging if approached with little or no expert’s insight. Hence, before signing up on social media for business purposes, you should seek expert opinion. This will give you a deeper insight about risks and benefits of social media engagement.
For businesses that seek relevance in this 21st century, social media are a necessary requirement.