Social media can work wonders for any online business. Although a (relatively) new phenomenon, social media platforms are quickly gaining momentum as more and more people integrate them into their daily lives. In 2005, only about 5% of US adults used social media; by early 2019, that number had increased to 72%! (source). As people begin to rely on one or more different platforms for socializing, news, and even shopping, the social media boom will only be growing.
If you’re a business owner looking for new ways to expand and grow your brand or corporation into something bigger, you can capitalize on the social media explosion. By branching out into these platforms, you can bring your business directly to consumers.
Social media allows you to engage with current customers. Here is a great example from 101domain that demonstrates how effective social media can be at solving customer service issues—it can solve issues that might typically fall through the cracks of your customer service branch. Investing in social media can have some pretty massive returns. Let us quickly look at a few of them.
Social media builds awareness
Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to get the word out about you and your business.
Social media can allow you to control your company’s exposure, giving you the chance to grow and develop essential relationships with your prime demographic. That audience can be the key to your success, as it includes your fans, followers, and connections. These are people who know your brand, who are paying attention to it, and who have either engaged with your business in the past or who will potentially engage with it in the future. They may even share your brand with their friends, building awareness.
You’ll be able to communicate authority better
Most people are getting pretty savvy with the way they go about surfing the Internet now. Many people opt to do quite a bit of research on a brand before they decide to spend their money and make any purchases with them. More often than not, people are searching for your business whether it be through your website or on social media.
When your business sets up a robust social media profile, showcasing and highlighting your brand and its ideals, it, first of all, establishes your brand’s authority but also gives that great first impression that your potential customers are looking for.
When your business gives off that great first impression through social media, you’re showing your business to be trustworthy, knowledgeable, and approachable. It looks legit, and that’s exactly what people want: the peace of mind that they’re getting what they pay for.
And you’ll be able to promote your corporation’s personality better, too
Back when people did most of their business with whatever shops were on their street, a company, big or small, could largely get away with having nothing more to their name than a pretty good product. The most “personality” they might show off would be a colorful advertisement in a newspaper, or a decorative shop window, if that. For better or worse, though, this is no longer the case. Because of the internet, customers have access to a staggering number of businesses from all over the world. It’s not enough anymore to just be local and have good products; you need to stand out from the bland miasma of your competitors.
Lucky for you, social media is here to help you. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and plenty of other platforms are ideal for showing off more than just you products; they also help you build up your company’s personality.
By maintaining your brand through social media, you enable a good reputation and strong image. You give your customers and targeted audience a chance to follow your business, to become interested and educated, and to get really engaged with your brand’s personality. After all, when a business has a personality, it makes it easier for people to relate to and for connections to be formed.
Additionally, crafting the right brand personality can sometimes create more buzz and interest in your business, especially when implementing funny, relatable content that ties to current events. Wendy’s, for example, is slowly becoming famous for the humor, sarcasm, and snark it expresses in it’s twitter account. After all, what better place to express your company’s unique personality than in a fairly low-risk environment like social media?
Social media encourages engagement
If your corporation is looking to expand its customer base, look no further than social media. Social media puts the power in your hands to engage with your audience, encouraging a form of two-way communication. It has successfully broken down the age-old barriers between customers and companies by providing immediate access across social media platforms. Because of this, your corporation can begin to understand and learn more about your designated audience and what interests them, and you’ll then garner helpful feedback.
Additionally, when customers are able to share their thoughts, feelings, and concerns, and if they’re able to ask questions and give ideas to the people at the top of your brand (including you), that induces a feeling of trust and credibility. Not only that, it establishes your online presence and further promotes a customer’s loyalty to your brand.
You’ll break down barriers
One of the biggest (and most consistent) concerns people have with companies, in general, is that the distance between the customers and the people running the company is usually pretty vast. Behind the walls of a corporation, it’s easy for a business to feel cold and impersonal, and it can even become dehumanizing. Think of some of the companies whose products you use every day. Within each company, how many of the top employees do you know the name of? How many of their pictures have you seen? Barring the CEO’s of some of the biggest corporations, like Apple or Microsoft, I’d be willing to bet you have no idea who sells you your most important products.
Customers want to feel like they matter and that their favorite brands actually care about what they have to say. When your company gives customers a way to do this, it helps them feel heard. Happy customers mean greater success for you!
To allow this to happen, simply develop a system in which customer comments, questions, concerns, and complaints are tracked across all your social media platforms. Then, your customer service can respond as quickly and promptly as possible, going out of their way to ensure positive results and to address all concerns. Additionally, your brand must listen to all criticisms, as that’s what will make your brand better, and it will also make the customers feel like their opinions matter to you..
Establishing an active social media presence can help alleviate the feeling of distance a customer might feel when interacting with your company. Everyone would much rather talk to another human than a faceless institution, and social media makes it easy as pie to let you do this!
Social media adds value
We all know how expensive it can be to live in the world today, for businesses and consumers alike. Registering a domain for your business? That costs money. Creating and storing your merchandise? That costs money too. Setting up a brick and mortar store? That costs a LOT of money. And even once you establish yourself and are ready to start selling, your customers have to pay to engage with your products and brand. Luckily, there is one thing for which cost is not a barrier for you or your customers: social media! Regardless of how big or small your brand or corporation is, social media gives every company an equal opportunity to expand their audiences and build a strong customer base, no exchange of money required on anyone’s part.
Signing up to be a part of social media is free across almost all platforms. That’s why it’s so cost-effective, but that’s also why it can be a great investment for any serious corporation.
For any online business, social media can allow them to reach all corners of the Internet, helping to increase web traffic by driving people to your website. Since social media has a global reach, it gives businesses another platform to engage with customers in an entirely different, unique way. Moreover, it gives businesses a chance to get to know their customers and develop a relationship of trust, further enhancing customer satisfaction.
Since social media is a global phenomenon, your website’s outreach is expanded, and sales are increased. Social media gets people talking, and thereby creates a positive effect on your sales as well as your website’s overall exposure.
The bottom line
Is social media worth it? Yes.
As you now know, social media is an incredible tool for all serious corporations looking to build and cultivate their brands into something bigger and better.
It’s really all about content. Can you keep people engaged? Can you remain authentic and true? Don’t try to oversell; don’t be bland. Instead, opt to create content that educates or entertains (or both, if you can.)
If you’re not already investing your energy in social media, actively participating in the platform, and curating an online presence with a clear goal in mind, every day you’re letting your business slip out of your control, losing any present customers you already have to your socially savvy competitors. And you don’t want that, do you?
Setting up social media for your corporation doesn’t have to be a stressful thing. In the wise words of Nike, just do it.
Are you ready to take the social media world by storm? If yes, you know what to do.