Working in social media I have often been asked questions like, how does Facebooking help? Can a brand survive with just Tweeting to its followers? Where's the profit for the business coming from? My answer to them is that Social Media for a brand can help you get business but more importantly it will get you the much required awareness that more often than not is a hit or a miss via Television Ads, Radio ads and other offline marketing strategies.
Let's take a closer look at some of the uses and benefits to effectively utilizing social media for your business.
If you are expecting immediate benefits from Social Media this isn't the platform you should be looking for. It takes a lot of a time and effort to build you brand presence on Social Media platforms and once you have created that momentum make sure you maintain it (Read: Smaller Brands, an already known brand has to just reinforce the message that has already been made to the user).
Very often I get this question from a lot of friends and family:
Why exactly does a company use social media?
There are numerous reasons why a Company should use Social Media:
- Brand Recognition: One of the most powerful ways to use Social Media is Brand Recognition. Today Social Media lets you engage with millions of users. With social media, you get to decide how you want to position your company and how you want people to know about what you do. With consistent effort and great content, you can build a reputation for your brand around your company's values, benefits, and advantages.
Community: There is nothing like social media when it comes to cultivating a community. Social Media is that platform where you will find like-minded people easily. A perfect example will be LinkedIn; it's one of the most powerful platform to find like-minded people. For example if I want to find people who are interested in stock market trading:
LinkedIn will help me to find relevant groups, join them and take part in discussions and connect with other users.
- Repeat Exposure: A clear benefit of social media is repeat exposure with your network. You have the opportunity to remind them over and over again about what you have to offer, which can shorten your sales cycles drastically.
- Influence: As your following increases, your influence grows. Advertising module across various Social media platforms allows you to increase your reach and increase your influence. All you need to do is to make sure that you are reaching out to your customers/potential customers in the right way. (This is even when you are addressing complaints). Every time you interact with a customer your influence increases, you tend to build a personal relation with your customer.
- Staying Ahead: Whether you realize it or not, your prospects and clients are checking to see if you are engaging in social media. Even if it's not your top priority, if you keep up with the current activity, your prospects will notice.
- Competitive Advantage: The reality is that most of your competitors are most likely not doing a very good job with social media (most companies aren't), which gives you the chance to stand out. Also consider the flip side, if you avoid social media, you leave a big opening that allows your competitors to capture your audience.
- Big Wins: While many businesses large and small are trying to justify the cost and time investment for managing social media marketing, an important benefit often gets overlooked: Big Wins. Big Wins don't happen often, but when they do, they make it all worthwhile. It's easy to forget results like these six months down the road you’re trying to assess whether your social media efforts are paying off. But that one contract you landed could cover your social media marketing costs for years.
Here are some interesting stats and Figures on Social media networking:
Tell me how you have used Social Media for your Business.