Quite enough has been said about the usage of social media. With so many options available, almost everyone currently has or has had a social media account. The most popular platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter have billions of users. With the number growing every day.
An average person has multiple memberships across these platforms, and it has grown to be a part of their day. One thing that is common with all social media platforms is Followership. The name differs across platforms. It is 'Friendship' on Facebook, 'Contacts' on Whatsapp, 'Followers' on Twitter. I'm sure you are familiar with all of this because you probably have more than one social media account yourself. But the question is - 'Is your business familiar with social media?'
A significant amount of communication goes on social media platforms. And recently, business transactions have found their way to these platforms. People not only connect with people but are also open to connecting with businesses on the Platform. The relaxing atmosphere on social media helps to foster an organic relationship between brands and their customers and prospective customers.
But let's talk about your business. A while ago, the call was to get your business online, have a website, establish an online presence. While that call has not changed, it has come to broadly include the need for your business to be on social media.
For many people, social media is their first point of call. There have even been concerns raised about the effect of this on physical relationships. When something happens to them, to someone, or they need something, they take it to social media. And while the abuse of social media remains a pressing issue. You must take advantage of its extensive coverage and use it to promote and build your business.
The use of social media for business is quite delicate because these platforms encourage open conversations. You have to be careful how you use it to promote your business else you can earn your business a bad reputation very fast. You have to be intentional about what you post, what you promote, and what you encourage.
Also, because of its culture of fun, it is easy to lose focus. To go with the flow when it yields nothing for your brand. It is why a lot of big brands employ a social media manager. And you can't have it all too serious just because you want to be focused. You must maintain a relaxed atmosphere. It helps people to connect with your brand on an emotional level. It further helps to boost customer acquisition, retention, and loyalty.
Let's talk about five areas Social media helps your business
Social media helps to expose your business to more people. Especially for emerging brands, social media is a suitable place to build brand awareness. As people interact with contents and other people on the platform and come across your brand from time to time, your brand registers in their subconscious. Most Platforms have marketing tools to reach people who are not following you and are even outside your geographical zone. You can expand your audience as much as you can afford. On Twitter, when someone likes your post, their followers see the Liked post on their feed. Instagram allows you to use hashtags in your caption to reach more people.
Social media helps you connect with your customer on an emotional level. They feel closer to you. You can use your social media pages to handle customer enquiries, resolve conflict, even educate customers about your products.
Over the past few years, people have come to depend on social media as their source of information. Even media houses have made their social media pages a primary medium for sharing information with the public. You can share company news and necessary information on your social media pages. People won't check your company website for the latest updates but are likely to interact with your social media page. Your social media pages guarantee more reach and interaction from customers than your website. It also generates traffic for your website.
Unless your product is for people born in the 1950s, then there is a good chance most of your customers are on social media. And at least 60% of them will be active users. There you have your market. You can run surveys on your products, services, public perception, product development, anything at all. Twitter has an opinion poll feature. You can also share a link on your page for people to take the survey on your website.
It is time to accept that business partnership has moved beyond the walls of the boardroom. While the basics remain, social media can open doors of cross-industry Partnership and even investments. You can discover brands to partner with on social media. Your activities on social media can also attract investors to look into your business.
However, as you consider social media for your business, the first step is to have a Plan. A plan that answers the question 'What do I want to achieve?' For most organisations, it is part of their marketing plan.
It is okay to mix fun and business. It doesn't have to straight-face all the way. When selecting a platform for your business, remain objective. Don't let your personal bias or preference choose for you. Consider your target audience, the feature of the platform, and your products and services. It is advisable to have accounts on at least three social media platforms. That way, people can reach you on their preferred platforms.