Most every company has realised the value of social media as a business tool. There are many benefits to using social media platforms for your business: it’s free, got a wide reach, and relatively easy to learn. However, many organisations still aren’t taking full advantage of this opportunity – social media can be much more than just posting to promote your company! Here are all the ways social media can support your business:
- Market Research
Regardless of the size of your business, the amount of experience you have, or the sector in which you operate, all businesses can benefit from detailed knowledge about your market and customers. Social media is a fantastic tool that allows businesses to gain valuable insight into their target audience’s preferences and important changes in their industry.
Some social media platforms like Facebook even allow users to create polls as a means to ask specific questions and get feedback from your followers. This allows you to ask questions and get feedback that pertain to your company, brand, products and/or services. And the best thing is: the feedback you receive is instantaneous.
In the big picture, having up-to-date information can help you make informed decisions about your business offering and adapting to changes in your business environment.
- Give customers an inside look
Social media is a very personal and interactive marketing platform. Not only can you give your customers a sneak peak behind the curtain and put a face to your brand, you can have actual conversations with your customers! This allows you to have valuable and personal interactions with your customers and can really benefit your small business’s reputation.
- Customer service
Realistically, whether you like it or not you will have to provide customer service on social media. It has become almost a natural instinct for customers to voice their positive and negative feedback publically online. This is also where they will ask clarifying questions or other advice which relates to your business offering. More likely than not a majority of your online feedback will be negative as customers will only go through the effort of contacting you if they are dissatisfied.
While this can be unfortunate, see it as an opportunity! You are aware of issues and you can address them and improve the service. If you respond quickly, effectively, and with grace, you can even retain customers you might otherwise have lost.
- Increase sales
Social media also gives the opportunity to announce and showcase any new product/service launches. Posting about new product offering can drive sales by informing customers. Alternatively, it’s also a great place to remind them of items that were popular in the past. The best way to do this is to share attractive pictures of your products or include links in your posts to the specific product/service page of your website.
O’Neill’s Sportswear Facebook post, is a great example of a post which incentives sales. The image showcases the product and they include a link to make it easy for the customer to purchase.
- Drive traffic
Even if you aren’t selling anything, but you’re a content provider for example, social media can still greatly benefit your business. Social media is a great way to drive traffic to your website. All you have to do is include links in your posts for interested viewers to find out more on your website. Give them a reason to visit your site by engaging them with interesting or useful content.
- Promote your business
Promotion on social media can take many different shapes. Of course there is paid advertising, but you can also be promoted by your followers and friends. Encourage people to share your content so that you expand the reach of your posts to new people for free! If you are really looking to reach out to new customers you can incentivise their shares by entering those who share into a giveaway which offers a free product or service, for example. There are many different way to approach social media promotion so it’s easy to find a way that works for your business.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your social media strategy, read our six important social media tips here.