What Does Social Media Mean For Business?
It’s no secret that businesses (whether large or small) need to aim at becoming more social and embrace social media and other technological tools available. Human beings are becoming more social in a virtual way like never before. This social element through technology is changing business to a degree because customers are changing the way they now interact with business. Customers are being more informed and have more research tools available to them. Integration of technology, social and cultural aspects are coming into the business process and customer service is being aligned with social media as part of that communication.
Businesses are being scrutinised through social media with customers reading testimonials, product reviews, checking out blogs, watching YouTube or simply asking their networks for recommendations. Over a period of time, this will organically grow to be a knowledge source about your business and beneficial to consumers when making decisions. Why wouldn’t you want to have part of that?
Businesses that tap into the social media opportunities can create significant competitive advantage. Buying and selling is now more than just the features and benefits, it is about sharing information and providing value. It’s now a different kind of buying, with customers wanting to have an experience as opposed to just buying things. They certainly don’t want to be sold to or marketed to. This is not an experience – that’s is why social media is not really a marketing tool but a relationship building tool.
Customers want to connect with businesses to find out what they are about. The power shift has moved and now it’s about the customer. The customer is driving the push for more information, more choice and more interaction with your business.
Moving your business into a social business involves creating online communities that bring together various businesses, employees, customers and relevant stakeholders to share knowledge, ideas and matters of interest. In doing this, you are able to create value, engage, collaborate and create to solving problems or issues.
As the customers demand and expect more from business, those businesses that genuinely connect, provide value and build relationships are responding to these shifts in consumer behaviour. Businesses that are better placed to respond to customers’ needs and trends will be able to innovate and gain a competitive edge over their competitors because they are listening to what their customers want and need.
The bottom line for businesses is and always will be to increase sales. Social media can help businesses increase sales by introducing them to and connecting them with their target market. They can position themselves as experts in the industry and provide solutions; everything businesses do on social media helps increase brand awareness, which can lead to sales. Statistics say that 78 percent of small businesses attract new customers through social media and for some micro-businesses, it has replaced the website.
The next benefit of a social presence is it can improve SEO. The way social media can improve SEO is simple. Social media activity can act as a an alert to search engines that your brand is legitimate and trustworthy. In fact, Google uses social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter to discover new content, and they will rank a blog post and website higher if they see it comes from a credible source. Some companies pay a lot of money to improve their SEO, but for a relatively small price, you can boost it through being social.
So what is holding you back? With over 15 million Facebook users in Australia, 5 million on Instagram and 14 million on YouTube – aside from all the other options available, the advantages of embracing this powerful customer building tool is resoundingly clear. Just dip your toes into the social media arena and see for yourself. Small, relevant but regular content with more images than drawn out text, is the start to winning the edge over your competitor and engaging with your potential customers and establishing a total customer experience.
To get started with your business’ social media, firstly determine your goals and purpose, decide which social media sites will work best for your business, and find a dedicated person to actively manage your social presence – whether in-house or outsource to a Virtual Assistant. We could chat about this if you are unsure where to start.