Monday, July 1, 2013

How Social Media Can Grow Your Business

The number of people using social media sites is astronomical and continues to grow. According to which tries to keep up with the latest statistics, there are 1.11 billion members on Facebook, 500 million overall Twitter users (with about 200 million of those accounts being active), 343 million active Google+ users,  225 million LinkedIn members and nearly 50 million Pinterest users.

With all these people using social media, it should be fairly evident that developing an effective social media marketing strategy can allow businesses to increase their reach, allowing them to boost traffic, improve brand loyalty, and win over potential customers. Below are just a few ways that using the various social media networks can help your business grow.

  1. Build brand awareness and loyalty. People choose to follow brands on social media networks which gives your organization that ability to turn these visitors into customers by sharing valuable content to your followers which they can then reshare among their network. The better the content that you share, the more likely that these followers will 'like' or 'tweet' the message, which gives you even more reach as you'll be not only spreading your message to your fans, but to your fans' network.

    In addition, social media allows your business to deliver top notch customer service which will keep your customers loyal to your brand as well as engage customers on a more personal level and give incentives, all of which grows brand awareness and loyalty.

  2. Builds and helps monitor your brand’s reputation. The use of social media helps businesses to interact and engage with their customers, which helps with building awareness and loyalty (as mentioned above). Not only that, but social media allows you to take control of your brand's message before someone else does giving you control of how you want your business positioned. And while you can't control what's being said about you, with the various online reputation management services available to you, you can find conversations about your business and engage, helping you prevent any potential disasters in case of a negative feedback.
  3. Discover opportunities. Reputation management tools are not only for monitoring when something negative about your brand is being said. They can also be used in helping you to convert prospective customers that are researching your brand. By learning how to listen on the various social networks, you can position your organization to find opportunities on the social web.
  4. Test ideas and get feedback. Social networks give you the perfect place to ask your followers to give feedback on the services and products you're currently offering as well as new ones that you might plan to offer. You can also use the feedback you get to capture testimonials which further helps to build your brand's reputation and helps with solidifying brand loyalty.
  5. Incentives. You can send out discounts or promotions to help increase website traffic, boost sales and have people spread the word about your brand. Offer a discount to Twitter followers who tweet your message or Facebook followers who like your page. 

Social media is not a fad; it's here to stay which is why businesses, especially small and medium sized organization can no longer avoid building a social media marketing strategy. Social media offers an affordable way to reach a large number of people on a very personal level. Remember to be active on these social channels and to engage with your followers to continue cementing relationships which will help to grow your business.
Do you have any additional tips or first hand experience on how social media has helped your business?

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