The ever-expanding world of social media has revolutionized the way businesses interact with customers and conduct their daily operations. No longer are companies limited to using traditional direct marketing and advertising methods. Through social media, they can generate a ‘buzz’ surrounding their product or service which continues to bring in new customers. But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of using social media for businesses.
Facebook alone has an estimated 1 billion active users, many of whom are eager to “like,” “share” or post an update about a particular product or service. A study published on HubSpot.com found that 70% of business-to-consumers (B2C) companies acquired at least one customer through Facebook. Their clean user interface and simple design is an attractive feature that’s ultimately led to the company’s continued success.
Bring In Direct Sales
The most obvious benefit from using social media marketing is the increased number of sales or leads it offers. Once your business has established itself on social media, new clients will find their way to your product or service. Assuming your business is driven on sales, you’ll certainly benefit from staying active on social media networking sites.
But using social media really brings sales in a number of different ways. Depending on the particular platform, customers may find your web address listed in your account, or they may find your phone number and decide to give you a call to place an order. Other times, customers may spread the word about your product or service to their friends, at which point they will turn into a customer. These are just a few of the many ways social media can help drive sales to your business.
Make Your Business Easier For Customers To Find
It’s a common assumption among business owners that social media – or any web presence of that matter – is only beneficial for attracting new customers. While you can bring in more customers through social media networking, this certainly isn’t the only benefit it offers.
Fact: having an active social media account will make your business easier for companies to find.
Let’s face it, very few consumers today use the phone book to try and locate a company’s phone number or physical address. Thanks to the massive expansion of the internet, consumers are more likely to hop online to find this information. And if you aren’t maintaining an ‘active’ web presence, those potential customers may likely end up at your competitor’s place of business.
If a customer visits Google.com and searches for your brand name but doesn’t find it, they’ll probably take their business elsewhere. This is why it’s important for businesses to maintain an active web presence, and social media helps to accomplish this. If you had an active Facebook account, perhaps that same customer would notice your Facebook page listed in Google’s search results, connecting them with your phone number, address, official website url and more. By establishing your brand through various social media outlets, customers will locate you more easily.
Harvard University Study Reveals The Top Business Benefits of Using Social Media
Harvard University recently conducted a survey to identify the benefits of using social media among businesses. Check below for the full list in order from most popular to least popular reported benefits.
- Increased awareness of brand, product or services
- Increased website traffic
- Positive customer reviews and perception
- Ability to monitor the public’s view of the business (whether positive or negative)
- Targeting marketing
- Better understanding on how customers view their brand
- New business
- New product or serve opportunities
- Identify potential errors with products or services
Note: only 11% of businesses participating in the Harvard University study stated they did not receive any noticeable benefit from using social media.
Don’t Limit Yourself To Only Using Facebook
Yes, Facebook is currently the most popular and widely used social media site, but there are several others worth setting up. Although it’s still relatively new, Google+ is becoming more and more useful. In keeping up with their traditional behavior, Google has worked on linking users’ Google Plus accounts to their YouTube account, Android devices and more. Combined with the influx of new users, Google+ is a powerful social media tool for businesses to use.
The process of setting up a business page on Google+ is similar to a Facebook page; you build the page while logged in under your personal Google+ account, adding such information as your business’s name, phone number, address, logo, page cover, etc. The key difference between the two, however, is that Google Plus uses ‘Circles’ rather than ‘Friends.’
Of course, Twitter is another powerful social media networking site for businesses to use. There are an estimated quarter of a billion users on the site, so this is definitely an untapped market for some businesses. The key thing to remember with Twitter is that you need to build up a strong group of followers in order to succeed. Without followers, your 140-character-or-less Tweets will be sent to one.