It seems unthinkable that a little over a decade ago social media was little more than a pipe dream in a handful of minds. Now it has evolved into an important aspect of many people’s everyday lives. Twitter has become the leading force behind quick statements and 140 character long stories. Facebook active users accounts for 25% of the worlds population.
While social media has become a prevalent tool for communicating socially between friends and family, it is increasing becoming a common part of business marketing strategies. Social Media Examiner found that social media marketing is now a priority for many businesses. 86% of marketers place a high level of importance on social media and 89% say that the increase in exposure was the top benefit of using social media.
We take a quick look at 4 key reasons behind why businesses are using social media and the positive effects it can have.
Improved Search Rankings
It is widely known that having your business appearing on the top position of search engines can increase traffic flow by as much as 33%. There is typically a drop when looking at second position to around 18%, a trend that continues as you drop down the listing.
There are a number of tactics employed by digital marketing and advertising companies specifically intended of getting their site higher up on the rankings of Google, Yahoo, Bing as well as countless other search engines. The process is called Search Engine Optimisation and has become a key component of success online.
There are numerous companies that can setup and maintain your social media at a relatively low cost but if managed in house the majority of tools are free. Social media gives businesses an avenue for interaction with their customers as well as a highly targetable advertising medium.
As a mode of advertising it is highly effective at reaching a very specific audience. Users of social media typically share a lot of information about themselves and their location, all of which is targetable. If managed well and intelligently built, social media advertising campaigns can prove to be one of the most effective parts of a media plan.
Direct conversations with customers
Social gives you and your business the opportunity to speak openly with your customers. Regular updates, rewards and offers are tools used to trigger interaction. One of the many benefits of this contact with your customers is that your business can appear a lot more human and allows your business to express its personality.
Successful interaction with your audience requires an open, 2-way dialogue, your social media should act as a voice for your audience to openly reflect their experience. Positive or negative, it is vital that you demonstrate an ability to deal with comments in an appropriate way, even the negatives can be positives. Being able to obtain feedback on your business from your customers is an exciting element of social media. With the ability to shape the company they interact with your audience will reward you with loyalty that cannot be bought.
It is commonly agreed that social media increases exposure of a business. This recognition is measurable and can be used to shape the message an audience receives. It allows interaction with the brand from an existing loyal base and communication to new audiences you are looking to attract.
There are numerous tools and businesses available that will actively seek brands and audiences similar to yours and allow you to position your brand along side them. This brand positioning is one of many social tactics used to ensure your business communicates with an appropriate audience.
Success in social media, as with any other digital communication medium is driven by an open minded approach and a willingness to learn from previous successes and failures. If you are honest, sincere and approachable you possess all of the skills required to win.