Posted on January 23, 2013 by Michael Martin Leaño
Social media has become one of the biggest forces on the internet today. Millions of people visit social networking sites to watch videos, play games, post updates about their lives and communicate with friends, but did you know that it can also benefit your business? Here's how:
Exposure has always been important to businesses. It makes the company more visible and if done right, it can differentiate the firm from its competitors. And since hundreds of millions of people are now online and are taking to social networking sites, companies can leverage this to increase their exposure.
Consider that each friend, follower, "Like", "+1" or retweet is a way to reach even more users, so when added up, the online exposure can be exponential in terms of the number of eyeballs looking at your latest post. If your business used to limit its niche to a certain location, rest assured that your stage has now gone global.
If your company has a website of its own and you want to further grow its traffic, then social media should be an excellent way to do so. Each of you firm's social media profiles can direct your friends and followers to your website.
Through social media, you can also link to your press releases and other online marketing materials, which can use your targeted keywords that improve your website's search engine optimisation. In turn, improved traffic will lead to increased exposure for your company.
Want to know more about your specific market first-hand without having to spend on expensive reports? Then get busy with your company's social media presence. This would provide you a better understanding of your target market. To know what your community is thinking, all you have to do is ask a question and see how they respond. You can also look at what people say about your company and read their feedback about your products and services.
Social media is a great way to generate new sales leads for your company. It lets you reach out to your audience and build relationships, which is necessary for selling since people buy only from those they know, like and trust.
As mentioned earlier, each friend, follower, "Like", "+1" or retweet is a way to reach more users (i.e. leads), but to do so, you can't just shamelessly promote your company. To gain people's trust and grow your reach, you have to promote others' content, but it has to be good content that others can share.
Since you can use social media as a means to reach out to fans and directly address their concerns, your efforts will gain you loyalty. Take note, however, that this can be tricky. Since social media is public, people see complaints. How your company responds to these grievances is crucial because it would directly affect the person complaining and your audience will see this. But if you do it right, you'll gain a loyal fan base.
Advertising, promos, production costs, salaries of marketing staff and sales commissions can be costly but with social media, you can reduce your marketing expenses. Aside from your firm's internet connection, salaries for social networking employees and consultants, and production of marketing material, marketing costs in using social media would be minimal. If you funnel your marketing efforts towards social media, your marketing costs could go down.
Since social media gives your company a larger reach, develops your fan base, provides more customers and generates sales leads, it also increases your sales. Take note, however, that social media indirectly increases your company's sales by generating brand awareness, building trust and engaging with your customers, so you shouldn't use your social media as a direct sales channel.