By Hessie Jones
Social media has amplified Word of Mouth to the Nth degree. It is a medium that goes beyond just marketing – it creates an opportunity for permitted observation and engagement with prospects and customers. Most of all the insights gleaned from social can prove sustainable for business.
Organizations need to think now about integrating social media in its business functions, and marketers, customer service, accounts, etc must make social media activity as habitual as going into an email box everyday.
While social media has been around for a number of years many companies still haven’t really embraced it, let alone adopted it.
The new economy is really about customer service & brand management. The millions of conversations across the web – many that are negative about brands – are enough to fuel discourse and elevate emotions to the point that necessitates companies to be aware of and respond to them before they can get out of hand.
Its evolution is speeding up faster and faster. By the time companies are ready to hop on the band wagon, they’re often hit with another curve ball: their social strategy has become out-dated and they haven’t done enough to stay ahead of the curve.
The more I experiment with it, the more I see how profound this medium is in establishing real value for business. If you are still one of those fence sitters, here are the top benefits that will give a boost to your company. These benefits can be achieved faster in social media than most other mediums.
1. Visibility: Engaging in social media and blogging on a steady basis helps you develop and sustain a presence with your customers. By participating in conversations, sharing daily food for thought, you stay top of mind when someone is looking for your type of service/product offering. Don’t discount the power of creating a visible brand.
2. Brand yourself as a resource: Your time invested establishes yourself as a resource. You become the subject matter expert person for that topic and the voice that people trust in your industry. That’s how you brand yourself as an expert in your niche and make your company the one that others seek out and turn to. We trust those we know and those we see others trusting.
3. Build a community: By making yourself available, reaching out to customers and sharing information, you strengthen your community. You form new connections, allow community members to meet one another, and create a deeper dialogue by increasing the number of voices.
4. Realize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Benefits: Consistency in social means you are directly impacting your organic search results. Search algorithms favour content based on recency and relevancy. Being social enables you to potentially own the first page of your search results and become easily found in search engines. Your website will love you for it.
5. Decrease time to conversion: Do you know what happens when someone from social media lands on your site to make a purchase? They do it faster. They need less convincing, less hand-holding and less actual talking to you. They feel that way because they already know you. They read your blog, and follow you on Twitter. You’re not a stranger. You’re their friend — someone they trust and feel comfortable doing business with.
6. Highlight your product: Social media offers an additional avenue to show off and talk about your product in a friendly and informal way in a much more efficient way. You are now given permission to highlight what you offer and what makes you awesome in normal conversation without coming across “salesy” or too promotional. You also have the opportunity to answer questions, show features and offer “how-to’s” to help people get to know you a little better.
7. Find new projects & clients: Get client referrals because of the value you add on Twitter. People contact us for services or to partner on something because they like what we’re doing on Twitter or because they read one of our blog posts and it resonated with them. When you make yourself part of the conversation, you make your brand part of the story…and people notice.
8. Hang with other influencers: They say we are the company we keep, right? Well, social media lets you be friends with the people your customers most look up to, helping to increase your own authority by virtue of association. You look smarter when you talk to smart people.
9. Tell your company’s story: What has social media shown us? That people connect with other people, not necessarily with companies. Humanizing your company makes you more accessible and likeable. We like being introduced to the voices behind the logo because it helps us to feel a part of the company and invested in their success. By telling your company’s story and sharing that with users, you create a personal feeling and make people invested in your success.
10. Get answers faster: Need help figuring out the best tool to help you manage your finances as a small business owner? Curious how to set up a custom Facebook landing page? Need advice for how to hire better employees? When you get involved in social media, you build up a network of people who can help you answer these questions and point you to resources faster than you can find them yourself. Social media lets you do more, faster.
Are you ready to make that necessary leap? Are you already doing it? Let me know at WhatsYourTech.ca.