Social media is a critical component of your business marketing strategy.
While there is still a market for paid advertisements that garner large scale exposure from a wide range of consumers, social media has become a platform that enables both widespread viral sharing and business to consumer interaction.
Proper utilization of all social media outlets allow businesses to create brand imaging that effectively conveys values while acting as a tangible medium for consumers to interact with.
Why You Should Care
To opt out of social media as a business or business professional would be foolish. All major social media outlets offer at least a base level service that is entirely free to join (most of which offer all services for no charge). The only cost being that of your time and effort.
Some may feel the social media landscape is intimidating or that they may not have time to bother keeping it updated. While it’s true that building a following online, and keeping these users engaged takes effort, social media can be learned with some practice. Plus, the personal interaction with users can be very rewarding.
Fully Exploring Social Media’s Potential
The range of potential interaction on social media sites is nearly infinite and establishing yourself or business as being passionate and knowledgeable about your line of work will lead to connections with peers that can potentially lead to business to business interaction or referrals.
By establishing itself as a knowledgeable authority online, a business can then gain publicity through its following and use this exposure to drive traffic to its site or establishment, leading to an increase in sales. If your business is looking to gain news recognition and can offer newsworthy content, Twitter is a powerful medium for connecting to the right people.
Twitter is known as a hub for news buzz. With its layout based upon trending topics and tags that are pathways to specific bits of information and news, Twitter has garnered the attention of many journalists and reporters.
You’d be hard pressed to find a writer for a major publication online who does not also have a strong Twitter presence. What’s even better is that they are eager to pounce on unique information they find on Twitter and have the ability to give you instant, and free, publicity.
Maintain A Consistent Brand Identity
Having a social media presence that is congruent across all platforms will make your business appear more credible to the public and will offer consumers the chance to provide feedback and share what they find positive or offer advice for improvements.
Maintaining a consistent social media image is also increasingly important as a part of your business’ SEO strategy.
The Search Engine Journal notes that “when businesses join Google+ they are given prime placement on the right hand side of search results, complete with photos and user reviews… You can’t even buy this kind of placement, instead Google gives it away for free to entice businesses to join their network.”
Considering Google averages 500 million searches PER DAY, this is a strong incentive to join Google+.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, there is no reason to be wary of social media. There will be those who devalue its importance in driving direct sales, but a strategic approach to social media will allow businesses to create an identifiable brand that is public facing and interactive, while increasing business exposure.