Wednesday, November 11, 2015

5 Ways to Use Social Media for Increased Business Success

If you're about to grow your social media campaigns, you should be aware of the many different ways that social media can be used to grow your business. Social media can be leveraged in a variety of ways, some that are obvious and some that are a little more obscure. To truly get the most out of your social media marketing efforts, you may want to coordinate multiple aspects of the campaign at once.

Here are the five ways to use social media for increased business success.


1. Customer Acquisition
A social media platform will give you unprecedented access to prospective customers. Not only will customers be able to find you and engage with your products, but they will also be able to learn more about you as a business. By creating compelling content and showcasing your products and services, you will build trust and a relationship with potential clients. Social media marketing is an extremely affordable method of customer acquisition and growth.
A single post or marketing video can reach hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of individuals—without any increased cost associated with these growing numbers. Over time, your social media outreach will grow and you will be able to reach even more potential customers. Social media accounts also help with customer retention. Your existing customers will follow your brand and be reminded of your brand, encouraging them to continue their purchasing.
2. Reputation Management
What are people saying about your business? Do you know? There are reviews for every company out there today, on a variety of websites—and not all of them are true. There could even be negative information available about you through a competitor. Sometimes there are even mistakes: a customer could damage your business unknowingly simply because they confused you with another company. All of this can hurt unless you appropriately manage your reputation.
Social media is an excellent platform on which you can address any customer complaints. As a first line of contact, social media inspires individuals to contact you through a channel that you can control, rather than potentially voicing complaints through a third-party service. In addition to managing negative reviews and commentary, you can also promote positive reviews and information. Make sure that the customer always knows your side of the story when disputes arise.
3. Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is critical to growth. An individual may not engage with your brand the first time they see it, and they may not make a purchase even throughout many dozens of interactions. But that individual could still share your information. Individuals that follow you and interact with your brand will eventually become brand ambassadors, introducing others to your company even if they themselves are not a customer. 
brandBrand awareness increases the amount of trust that individuals have in your brand, in addition to making them far more likely to think of you the next time they need a related product and service. Brand awareness can be very difficult to quantify, but it can be seen increasing in the form of brand mentions across social media sites. Brand awareness is also very closely tied to customer acquisition, as you should see your customer acquisitions rise with the popularity of your branding.
In addition to making customers knowledgeable about your brand, you can also establish your brand voice and your company identity. Social media makes it very easy to reach your customers on this personal level. Creating a coherent and consistent brand identity will tell your customers what they should expect from your business and will encourage the demographics that you're focusing on.
4. Customer Service
Modern brands have to be "always on" in terms of responding to customer concerns and complaints. Customer service issues can arise at any time, and a responsive customer service team is necessary to address these problems before they become more serious. Many individuals today will reach out to a company through social media channels before they'll use anything else, and this means that the dispute becomes public regardless of what the company wishes to do. Consequently, companies today can experience "runaway" customer service issues, whereby problems snowball through a lack of attention.
Appropriately managed social media accounts allow a business to control these types of issues. Through social media, you are able to provide better customer service through a direct connection with the customer. Even when mistakes occur, customers are more likely to think favorably of a business if they are responded to professionally and with care. Merely by responding in a timely and polite fashion, companies can build their customer trust and make sure that their customers are satisfied every time.
Of course, customer service can also go wrong. There are many businesses that have learned a harsh lesson regarding their public relations. When dealing with customers online, you need to make sure that you're always focused on addressing and resolving their needs—not getting defensive or potentially aggravating them more. On social media, the entire world watches, and mistakes are very rarely forgotten.
5. Market Research
Are you wondering which of your next products will be the most successful? Do you want some guidance on your current marketing campaigns? Social media sites are one of the best places on which to conduct market research. You can see all of your engagement and activity and you know exactly which demographics you're reaching. You can poll your own clientele for information about what they truly want from your business and you can see how they react to your ideas before you attempt to launch them.
The value of social media marketing is that it's instantaneous: you get feedback almost the moment that you produce any content. This makes you remarkably agile; you will be able to identify "winners" and "losers" very quickly and be able to improve your products and services with this information at hand. Even better, the market research done on social media is free. Your customers will freely respond to your inquiries and all you will need to expend is some time.
There are an incredible amount of benefits to a cohesive and inclusive social media campaign. A social media campaign can do many things at once, and the more that you do with it, the more value you will receive from it. Of course, not all social media campaigns are created equal: different platforms may lend themselves better to certain strategies. Either way, however, having a positive, useful, and consistent social media presence will always draw customers to you and encourage them to stay.

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