The benefits of Social Media for business
Once upon a time, way back in the noughties, social media was seen as largely irrelevant for business. It was the preserve of teenagers and students and few professionals gave the platform a second thought when planning their marketing campaigns.
Fast forward a few years, however, and social media is an integral part of business. From the smallest startup to the largest international corporation, almost all companies now have online profiles and more and more are exploiting social media to engage with their client base, boost brand awareness and create contemporary, relevant and innovative business identities. But just what are the benefits of social media for business, and how can your company make the most of this powerful platform?
Engaging with customers
One of the biggest benefits of social media is the opportunity it offers to engage with customers. There are now 2.34 bn social media users worldwide, with Facebook alone boasting 1.71 bn active profiles. With most of these users concentrated in developed countries, there’s a very good chance that both existing and potential customers in your region will be logged on to social media.
By creating a social media profile for your business, you can engage with these customers on an informal level. Connecting with relevant networks and individuals and being active on social media can seriously boost brand awareness and help to keep your company name at the forefront of your customers’ minds.
Market research is invaluable when it comes to developing new products and services and ensuring your business is giving its customers what they want. In the past, companies would have to pay agencies to carry out market research. Results would often be slow to emerge and there was never any guarantee that the data gathered would be relevant, useful or non-biased.
Social media, however, offers businesses a unique opportunity to connect with their customers directly. By talking to members of their network, engaging with related groups and asking for feedback, businesses can gather immediate market research on existing products and services and collect data that could inform future lines and developments.
Studies have shown that companies that engage with social media enjoy higher levels of customer loyalty than businesses that haven’t created online profiles. One of the reasons for this is that social media gives businesses the chance to build a corporate personality. This makes the company more engaging and helps customers to connect with the brand on a more personal level.
What’s more, being active on social media helps to ensure the company name is always at the forefront of customers’ minds. This will encourage them to come to you next time they need your products or services and could help to significantly boost business in the future.
Real time results
According to the Pew Research Centre, around 70% of Facebook users log on to the network once a day, with 45% checking their profile on multiple occasions. Instagram sees around 50% of its users active on a daily basis while 36% of Twitter users access the site every 24 hours. As a result, companies are able to use social media to get real time results.
Well targeted special offers, promotions and campaigns can get instant reactions. This can help to boost sales, increase traffic and create a buzz around a company and its online activity.
As well as being incredibly powerful, social media is exceptionally affordable. The amount of exposure the medium offers far outweighs any costs involved in creating and maintaining a profile. This makes social media an especially good choice for small businesses and companies with limited marketing budgets.
Where to find social media statistics
To learn more about online trends and statistics, take a look at these informative sites: