The Top 9 Benefits of Social Media for Business
We’ve all seen the statistics reports, the flurry of news coverage and webinar/seminar presentations driven to convince businesses of the validity of Social Media Marketing engagement to build their brand presence. However, more often than not, those stats and “facts” mean more to the marketing community than to the actual business owners themselves.
Realistically, businesses really do have to consider the benefits of Social Media marketing, but not for all the graphic-loaded PowerPoint presentations and percentages often noted as “crucial data”.
So, in layman’s terms, why does your business need to engage in Social Media marketing?
1. Your competition is using Social Media already. No matter your industry, the chances that one of your competitors already has a Social Media presence are fairly strong. B2B social media marketing is growing in leaps and bounds and competing businesses are reaching out to your target market and engaging them.
2. Inexpensive Research. Think of the money you have spent in the past on market research, and you’ll be happy to know that Social Media offers the same tool at a fraction of the price. You can use your Social Media profiles to gauge response and interest of your target market then develop your plan accordingly.
- Tip: Facebook ads and promotions are an inexpensive and highly-traceable method for market research.
3. Enhanced Customer Service. Any business owner knows that customer service is integral to a successful business. Use your Social Media pages and profiles as an interactive customer service extension to your business.
- Tip: Twitter Direct Messages and company blog sites are a great medium for customer service.
4. Listen and Learn – part 1. With traditional marketing like print ads or marketing, success can only be gauged by call-ins or email based on the type or response requested in the content. The online aspect to Social Media allows for real-time tracking for retweets, click-thrus from content and daily updates via brand tracking using Google Alerts.
- Tip: use bit.ly links in your posts for real-time metrics on the click-thru tracking on all your posted content.
5. Listen and Learn – part 2. Manage your brand reputation by seeing who is saying what about your brand using Social Media tracking tools.
- Tip: Services like Vocus and Radian6 provide powerful, scalable listening tools for businesses’ online brands. There are also several free options for metrics tracking:
6. Empowerment for your customers. Put your prospects and customers in the driver’s seat by offering engaging content via your Social media profiles that offer them insight into your business process and whetting their appetite for your services with the value of your expertise.
7. Proven Track Record. Social Media may still be the new kid on the block in terms of media, but it is far from an unknown or unproven medium. Offering highly-targeted engagement to brands has made it a standard tool within many companies’ marketing arsenal.
8. Start Now. Having mentioned that your competition is most likely already engaging in Social Media Marketing, they may have limited Social Media presence. There is always the chance that you can be the first before your direct competitors on Twitter, Facebook or Linked In or with a business blog. Be the innovator in your industry if you can.
- Tip: Find out where your competition is in the Social-sphere and be where they are, as well as where they aren’t. Link all your profiles and pages so your target market sees where they can find you online.
9. Bring in the Money. For all the high-end goals of your organization, profits are the ultimate goal of most businesses. The simple fact of today’s business world is that socially-engaged businesses are more profitable.