To fully understand why we need to use social media for business, we first need to understand what Social Media is.
The social aspect of the definition refers the instinctual need we have to connect with other people to share our thoughts, feelings and ideas. The media part of the term is about how we use various mediums or technologies to create and maintain those relationships, while building trust.
Social Media and Relationship Building
Social media is a new set of tools that allow us to connect and build relationships. Social media is doing what traditional (mass) media like telephones, advertising and televisions used to do, but at a much higher speed and it is, unlike the traditional media, a two way street. The reason for the higher speed is because everybody can contribute to the conversation, which was “in the good ol’ days” next to impossible. Social Media is not just the wave of the future. It’s our current marketing reality!
Social Media Levels the Playing Field
Marketing (in general) is one of the largest expenses any company, large or small, has. It is not your customers’ job to remember you are in business! By using Social Media, any small business owner levels the playing field with “the big boys”. The cost to enter and participate in the social space is minimal. Compared to other forms of marketing, such as print, broadcast and online advertising, the cost to market a business and brand in social media is relatively low.
"It is not your customers’ job to remember you are in business!"
Besides the low cost, the potential market place you can reach is huge. (Facebook has 800,000 mln users – reaching the 1 billion mark soon, Twitter 95mln, LinkedIn 119mln) (see The Growth of Social Media for more statistics) About 58 percent of people do online research before purchasing a particular product.
Social Media Allows You to Monitor Competitors
Social media also allows you to easily monitor what your competitors are doing and what other people are saying about them. Did they launch a new product? What do others think? And how does this compare to your product/service?
Search Engine Optimization
I know this is not one of the first things that come to mind when people think of Social Media, however, when you combine the power of Social Media with the power of Google you can get some amazing results on major search engines when you do it correctly. This will drive a lot more traffic to you than just social media alone.
Be in the right Social niche, create profiles, attract followers and you will be well on your way to the top of Google!
Your Customers Are On Social Media - So Should You Be!
Most of your current (and potential) customers are online, you need to be there, too. Social media participation requires equal investments of time, strategy and patience, and generating leads through your social media efforts can be the ultimate payoff. Don’t use social networks as one-way marketing and advertising channels. Instead, talk to people and engage them and leads will begin to trickle into your sales funnel.
Build Your Brand with Social Media
Building a brand has never been so important as today and Social Media has allowed all businesses to have a voice!