Why Companies Should Use Social Media
Social Media is tools used to increase traffic, target a specific audience or community, create relationships, share and distribute content and applications through networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Flickr and others. Social media are online interactive technologies which enable the generation or sharing/exchanging of information, insights, career goals, hobbies, other types of expression and ideas through virtual communities and social networks. Social media have become an important means to generate revenue for companies by creating a sense of community, linking people in real life, creating and maintaining relationships with customers, providing information and increasing search engine visibility. This is done by the companies through social marketing campaigns using targeted SMS or MMS messages.
Social media has provided businesses with an easier and more convenient way of reaching customers. It allows the company’s brand to be seen and known through its chosen medium. Social media has been used by leading brands to build their own fan base, connect with fans and announce news and events. Companies that do not invest in this media platform may find themselves behind in the race to be first, as their competitors are getting an edge through effective social networking strategies.
Social media engagement helps the company to build and maintain long-term relationships with its audience. It helps in building brand awareness and increasing customer loyalty by influencing consumer behavior. Through this medium conversations can be had with the audience and at the same time information can be shared. This information can help to shape and mould the way the brand wishes to present itself and the way customers see it. Social media allows the company to interact with its audience and to promote its products and services.
Brands using social media can also make announcements of discontinuation, change of brand strategy, etc through conversations with its customers. They can use this platform to solicit feedback and get feedback on their services and products. This will ensure that they are always aware of what their customers are thinking and how to improve their business. Social media is one of the best ways for a brand to engage with customers and to learn about their thoughts, ideas and opinions.
To effectively use social media platforms companies must consider the goals that they wish to achieve through this engagement strategy. Depending on the type of business the goals could vary. For instance, a brand that has a lot of inventory might use social networks to gather feedback on how their product is perceived by consumers and to learn more about their target market. If the goal of the company is to sell its products, then it is important that they engage in promotional activities through social networks, including posting links on Facebook and Twitter, and offering discounts to their customers.
These days there are many platforms available for social media engagement. Most leading brands have their own dedicated platforms on which they can communicate and interact with their customers and prospects. There are also smaller, yet equally useful social networks that can be used by businesses. These platforms include video hosting sites such as YouTube and Facebook; interactive social network sites such as Facebook’s “Like” feature and Twitter’s hashtag search; blogs such as bloggers and WordPress; and photo hosting sites such as Flickr and Picasa. The social media industry is constantly growing, which means that it will soon become impossible to keep up with what each social network has to offer.