Social media was once regarded as a way for friends to connect with one another. Today, businesses of all sorts—large or small and local or international—are highly active on social media and are engaging with and learning about their consumers. Consumers are communicating with one another about product reviews and service experiences. Businesses are learning what advantages or disadvantages their marketing strategies have compared to competitions’ strategies. Finally, consumers are engaging (sharing, liking, commenting) with businesses’ content and taking note of how they can benefit from businesses offerings.
The bottom line? Companies that have not integrated social media into their marketing strategy will not survive. If a large majority of your target audience is highly active on social media platforms, why would you not join them? Check this out: The amount of users on Pinterest and Instagram have doubled since 2012 and 72% of online adults use Facebook (which is 62% of all American adults). Still need more convincing? Here are three ways in which social media is beneficial for your small business.
Social Media: What Are People Saying About My Business?
Social media provides your business with the opportunity to listen to each and every member of your target audience. If your followers or subscribers are upset and complaining about a service experience they had or about a product malfunction, you will be able to not only appease and resolve the issue initially through social media, but you can also drastically improve their image of your business. By using social media to listen to your consumers’ concerns, you increase the likelihood of them telling their friends and family about the positive experience they had with your business.
Social media also provides you with the opportunity to engage with people who are interested in your products, services, and information. By engaging with your target audience through social media, you can discover what they expect out of your company. For example, by posting content that asks consumers to share their opinion on a new product, or to choose which flavor of chips they like the sound of the most, or even asking them to share their ideas on products that have yet to be released to the market, you can receive instant feedback directly from your current and potential customers.
How Do I Compare to My Competition?
By using social media monitoring tools, you can gain important information on your competitors. Ever wonder what your competition is up to? Or how many people are talking about them versus you? SocialMention is a tool that lets you do just that. You can see how many times and how often a keyword or company is being mentioned across blogs and social platforms. Not only can you analyze what keywords in your field are being used the most, but you can also track which platforms those keywords are being used in.
Do you have a great website that you want your target audience to see? Social media is a resourceful way to drive traffic to your website. More specifically, social media can be used to drive traffic to a landing page. Landing pages take consumers directly to a specific page so that they do not need to search through your website to find a certain product. These pages are designed to draw attention to a single goal. For example, if you are posting content about a certain product, you would benefit from including a landing page in your message so that consumers can be directed to that exact product. If they were directed to your homepage, they could be turned off from searching for it on their own, leaving you with an unhappy customer.
That’s a Wrap
Do you have any other useful ways social media can be used to drive consumer engagement? Let me know in the comments below, along with which of these social media tactics you use to help your business thrive.
Competitor: photo credit: IT man versus salesman via photopin (license)
Listening: photo credit: via photopin (license)
Traffic: photo credit: biG miNiaTURe wOrLd via photopin (license)
Category: Small Biz, Social Media Marketing 201, Social Media Marketing Integration