Social media as a marketing tool is here to stay. It has become abundantly clear that business and online social outlets are inevitably going to cross paths, and today’s forward-thinking companies recognize the potential that online networking offers. Having a strong online presence across a diverse array of platforms is essential these days, regardless of industry.
These days, it’s not enough to create a page and hope for the best. Your social media presence allows you to communicate with your target audience directly, so it’s important that you do it right. That’s why many of today’s most successful companies leave the tweeting to the professionals and hire a social media management company to handle their accounts.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the universal benefits that social media can bring to virtually any organization.
Does Your Company Really Need Social Media?
Regardless of your company’s industry, at this point in time, the answer is always a resounding yes. These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find any company that isn’t on social media. From police stations to grocery stores, today’s organizations must have an accessible online presence to succeed. To put it simply, if you’re not on social media, you’re missing out.
● Drive Brand Recognition
If you open a store in the forest and nobody sees it, does it really exist at all? Think about your online presence the same way you’d think about your brick-and-mortar store location: you need to be seen. For example, a restaurant social media account has endless potential to attract hungry web surfers. Posting new menu items, food pictures, daily specials, and coupon codes are all easy ways to attract attention and bring in new customers.
Or, let’s say you own a fashion boutique. You can post pictures of your apparel in Facebook groups. You can host weekly Instagram giveaways. Next time someone is in the mood to shop for a new jacket or pair of shoes, your store will come to mind. Social media is one of the most powerful advertising tools out there, and it’s completely free!
● Communicate with Your Audience
The beauty of social media is that it’s a two-way street. Television commercials are one-sided – you say your piece and you hope the viewer responds. Social media is an ongoing conversation. You can develop a personality for your brand. You can connect with your customers on a personal level.
It’s not surprising that today’s major big-box stores tend to use retail marketing services. According to Business Insider, 47% of social media users in the U.S. have attempted to use social media for customer service purposes, and 33% of those inquiries have gone unanswered. Providing fast, high-quality customer support via social media instills trust in consumers, and it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep people coming back.
● Boost Sales
Customers don’t like a pushy salesperson. It’s never acceptable to walk up to a shopper and start pushing a product out of nowhere. However, on social media, you can do exactly that. You’re free to post your company’s latest offerings without being ridiculed. In fact, your followers will be grateful for it. After all, they follow your page for a reason.
In a physical store, one salesperson can only sell to one customer. On the other hand, with social media, the sky’s the limit! You can grow your business endlessly, and every post you make becomes that much more effective as your audience grows.
And, the good news is that growing your online fan base is much easier than reaching your local community. Hiring a social media marketing service is an easy way to boost traffic, or you can even do it yourself if you’re tech-savvy. By cross-posting across multiple platforms, you can draw in new customers and grow your fan base. Entrepreneur recommends using all of the major social media networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn – at very least.
If you’ve overlooked social media marketing in the past, start now. Social media is not going anywhere, and regardless of industry, establishing an online presence is absolutely essential now and in the future. If you’re not confident in your own online prowess, hire a professional service. The long-term results are always worth the cost of admission.
Andrew Hoffman is a freelance writer and journalist from Los Angeles, CA, who has written on behalf of a range of clients including the Livestrong Network and Demand Media. In addition to writing about a range of topics, he enjoys playing basketball and cooking in his spare time. You can reach out to him, here.