Friday, 7 February 2014

Why businesses should be on social media

The social media world can be a daunting place. It's a world that is growing rapidly, with new features, platforms and apps appearing all the time. Whether for personal or for business use, it's hard to keep track of the newest trends, let alone learn how to use them. With this in mind, it's understandable why some companies want to shy away from social media. Every business, from large corporations to fledgling companies, already has an abundance of tasks to do. Social media ends up being another thing to add to the list.

The fact remains that social media is imperative in the modern business world. It's not just a phase, and it will continue to develop and grow, whether you choose to take part or not. Social media is the future of marketing and promotion, proving itself as an essential tool to boost your company. To put it bluntly, the sooner you get involved, the better off you will be. Don't get left behind.

Should you jump on the social media bandwagon? The answer is a resounding 'yes'. There have been many studies into the beneficial effects of social networking and marketing in recent years. A McKinsey & Co study in 2010 found that companies that embraced social media were “more likely to be market leaders”. The advantages of social media are clear: you can monitor your networks to figure out the return in your investments; you can easily measure the effectiveness of your campaigns; monitor the growth of your accounts and increase your social media reach. So how does it work?

It's all about understanding your brand and your customer base. With the right strategy, social media can make marketing and service a whole lot easier. You can essentially engage in your sales. Social media marketing allows you to monitor brand management whilst creating brand awareness by connecting with customers. At the same time, you can focus on service and monitor troubleshooting problems.

What could you achieve through the right social media strategy?


Over 80% of online marketing firms report that social interaction between customers and businesses is the key to social media networking. Through word-of-mouth marketing, you are sure to boost your brand awareness. Exposure is key for growth, and virtual word-of-mouth marketing can help you achieve this. We trust friends over brands or adverts, so giving your customers a trustworthy product is essential. Want proof? A recent study showed that 75% of people are somewhat or highly likely to share content they like online with friends, co-workers or family—49% do this at least weekly (Chadwick Martin BaileyConsumer Pulse 2010).

Reputation Management

Social media allows you to monitor both your online and offline presence. You can see what customers and competitors alike are saying about your business. This is a huge advantage, allowing you to use the insights gained to fix problems. You can show your human side by answering questions on forums and message boards. This lends a personal touch to your business, which is harder to obtain offline. Furthermore, you can demonstrate the expertise you have in your niche, building trust with your consumers.


Through social media you can generate a recognisable identity. The tools available online can build up hype about your business, in a way that creates a buzz. If marketed in the right way, you can increase your social media reach. The more fans and followers you accrue, the better reach you'll have. UEFA, for example, passed the 37 million mark in 2013 due to their effective social media strategy.


An online presence can save you lots of money in the long-term. Much cheaper than the traditional advert, cross-platform networking allows you to build your accounts and customer following without breaking the bank. It is time-consuming, but there are lots of options to hire people or distribute tasks. Social media marketing is a huge advantage for smaller companies, allowing them to compete with the larger corporations in some areas.

Measure effectiveness of campaigns

You can use many different platforms, such as Google Analytics, to monitor your online presence. Thus, you can review which online campaigns are successful. It allows you to analyse and track engagement and progress year-over-year, so that you can move forward faster by learning your former faults.

Boost your search engine rankings

The more of an online presence you have, the higher you may be in search engine rankings. If you want a higher ranking for your online networks, you can include follow links. These can be found on many networking platforms or news sites.

Explain yourself

With 24-hour customer interaction, can come 24-hour customer complaints. Well, hopefully not, but should the situation arise, be proactive about it. It is much easier to show an understanding, trustworthy side to your business online. If customers can see that your business is accessible and trustworthy, they are more likely to walk away satisfied. Through negative comments you may end up making huge improvements to your company. You may even end up finding new ideas for your business.

So start simple: establish your presence on a network that is in tune with your brand. Once you've got to grips with this, you can start to cross-promote across other platforms. So take a deep breath, dive in and get social. You won't be disappointed.


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