A lot of business owners are wondering if they really need social media marketing to help grow their business. That is understandable as social media hasn’t been around that long and has really only become mainstream in the last few years. Many businesses are very familiar with traditional marketing strategies like TV, radio and print advertisements and are now needing to learn how to incorporate social media into their marketing mix.
Many businesses have seen exciting growth from the use of social media, my company Top Dog Social Media is one of them. My own efforts with social media have resulted in an ongoing, steady stream of leads from my local market here in Kelowna, BC and businesses from cities from all across Canada and the US, find me via social networking sites.
The list of benefits from using social media marketing are many. Here is just a short list of them:
1. Social Media Provides Easy Access
Recent surveys have showed that four out of five Canadians, and 70% of Americans are on at least one social media site. With just a few clicks, people can find what they want and need on any of the popular social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Aside from reading the current news and events, people are doing more and more online, including making transactions like paying their bills and purchasing different products from various online shops like Amazon and eBay. Traditional forms of marketing have also branched out to the Internet with printed articles now available online, and online streaming for TV and Radio. The online world is like a big box filled with all the things you need, and with millions of people having easy access to the medium, the probabilities of your business to be known is very high if used properly and effectively.
2. Marketing in a Social World
For a long time businesses portrayed themselves as distance and formal, but today’s consumers expect more. Businesses must now learn how to market in the new social world, where consumers have taken control and are changing the rules. Businesses have to change their old approaches and start showing their ‘human side’ not just their ‘corporate side’. Personal relationships are just as important as business relationships. Business owners can no longer treat consumers as mere people who buy their products; they need to begin to establish a long-lasting relationship with them. Once they do this they will not only build loyalty from their consumers but also turn them into raving fans. And that’s what social media marketing can do best. It can build bridges for communication between business and its consumers.
3. Real-Time Customer Support
We all know how costly it is to build a customer support department for a company. Call centers of big companies have been outsourced just to save money. But customer support is just as important, if not more, in a small business, yet most don’t have a customer service department. With the exponential growth of social media, customer-related issues can be addressed in real-time on social networking sites. You just have to have someone from your staff actively update and monitor your social media sites in order to address these issues. This is one branch of social media marketing that traditional marketing mediums can’t offer.
4. Product and Services Development
In relation to real-time customer support, social media marketing and strategies can help you find ways in which you can develop your products and services. By monitoring consumer-related issues, and the ability to see what peole are talking about and looking for, you can decide what types of additional products and/or services you should offer. Previously companies would have to spend a fortune on focus groups and surveys to gather that kind of information. You can also pay attention to any recurring issues? What product or services do your consumers like, and what do you need to improve? This is a very important benefit of social media marketing that all businesses big and small can benefit from.
5. Watch Your Competition
Lastly, other companies pay a lot of money in order to conduct market research and know what their competitors are doing. With the help of social media, all you have to do is visit their blogs, Facebook or Twitter account and in a matter of minutes you will see all the latest moves that they are making to improve their business. You don’t need to conduct days or weeks worth of research just in order to know if they will be launching something new, all you have to do is click and everything will become available to you.
These are just some of the many ways your company can benefit from using social media marketing to promote your business.
What are some of the other benefits that you’ve seen with the use of social media marketing? Share them in the comments below.