Had we but a penny for every time we were asked that question . . .
Social Media for business is still viewed by some as unnecessary, too time consuming and too steep and sharp of a learning curve.
But increasingly we are finding clients are social savvy and comfortable with the how’s and why’s of its importance in business.
The truth is that social media for business is no longer optional.
Your business will have clearly defined goals, goals that can be – at least in part – achieved through social.
Social media should promote and enhance your offline activity and dovetail with existing strategies – it’s part of a greater whole.
The aim here is to be good at business because of social media – not to be good at social media.
Your social strategy should align and convert business goals to social media goals.
In broad-brush terms we’ve broken it down to these overarching objectives.
Total brand management – brand awareness and customer loyalty
Strong social media is a great way of exposing your brand to new customers and of nurturing existing, trusted relationships with clients and customers. Social media increases the visibility of brands.
A smart and savvy social strategy – including a defined content plan – allows you to build a community around your organisation and develop an emotional relationship with your audience.
The right presence on the right platforms will establish your business as a trusted, authoritative brand
You can target niche markets and reach specific demographics. Studies consistently show that interacting on social, even 2-3 times per week, can significantly increase your online presence and allow you to build relationships beyond the confines of your office walls.
Get to know customer behaviour
The digital era affords us a lot of data, not least on social media. It reveals what your audience interacted with and how they did so. This is your opportunity to listen to the audience, see how they behave in regard to certain content and promotions, learn what they are interested in and what they respond to best – all key information in formulating a business strategy designed to generate conversions and sales.
Customer relations via engagement and direct conversation
It’s tempting to see your social strategy as all about drawing a new audience, building the numbers. But social is a fantastic means of having direct conversations with those already loyal to your brand.
Social gives you a digital age customer service portal, an immediate means of speaking to clients that in turn delivers a more personal experience. Great customer relations on social develops brand advocates, allows you to respond to negativity and put the wrongs right in real time. Social media can be extremely effective for brands when managing a PR crisis.
Strong interaction encourages more mentions, thus getting you more visibility.
SEO and driving traffic to your website
Most businesses know how important it is to be found in online searches and will often invest heavily in optimising their search engine presence. Your social platforms can help your business be more readily found among all the online noise. The strongest brands and businesses use social – Google knows this.
In recent years, the search giant has included tweets, Facebook pages and profiles to appear in search results. In turn that means your business can take advantage by including keywords in page titles etc.
Furthermore, research shows that around one third of all website traffic is driven by social. Always use the analytics to measure social referrals and adjust your social strategy accordingly.
To sum up, think about how you are or are not using social to grow, nurture and respond – a simple audit of current practice will help you shape future opportunity.
We always love hearing your experiences, because they help shape our own. How are you using social media for business?