There are many ways social media can help businesses nowadays, especially the smaller ones, here are some of the more obvious reasons.
Social media can advertise your business cost effectively
When big businesses want exposure they start off with a TV spot blitz, then a newspaper ad blitz, then a radio commercial blitz, it’s all so complicated not to mention expensive. But small businesses do not have a huge corporate budget to wage a wide media campaign. What’s the next best thing to do? Advertise with a social media agency. Advertising with social media can reach more prospective customers as more and more people today would rather go online for news and entertainment than open the TV or read the newspaper. An ad online does not have the perishability of a broadcasted ad, it will not last just a few seconds over the air, it will stay put in a webpage and people will be able to see it repeatedly. Even the mere act of seeing the ad again and again is enough for some viewers to develop brand recall, and that is a good thing.
Social media is an excellent feedback tool
Public relations is important for business, and for good PR you need feedback and someone who can handle that feedback. If you cannot afford a flashy PR firm then you can have a social media manager to run your PR. Constant communication is a great way to retain customers and get in touch with prospective ones. Learn what you are doing right about your business, what you may be doing wrong, what can be done to improve service, or other concerns. People would rather deal with a person they can easily reach and converse with. Email exchanges and phone conversations have their limits, and in the case of the latter, costs.
Social media can help you find customers
The best part of this is that it will mostly be the doing of your customers. While word-of-mouth has largely been replaced by online communication these days the principle remains the same. Some of your customers talk about how good your services are, in addition to your excellent PR and feedback system, and others may get curious enough to try your services. In turn they spread the word about their good experience.
Social media can be used as your own education tool
For any business to stay on top it has to be innovative in its field, keeping up with the latest developments, trends and even industry practices. Many business owners offer refresher courses amongst themselves and their people, but not all businesses practice this and you can’t expect competitors to give up trade secrets. Online platforms are a good source of staying informed.
Social media keeps you updated about the competition
Admit it; you’re curious about the competition. Many a businessman has read Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” and treat business like war; the more you know about your enemy the better you will be in a position to outmaneuver them. Or in this case, the more you know about your competitors, what online strategy they are employing, strengths and weaknesses, the better you will be in a position to counter what they have and exploit what they don’t. Of course you can’t expect to get all the information about your competitors via social networks, but it’s a good place to start looking.
The list of ways social media can help your business is long. If you are not exploiting social media to the advantage of your business, then you could be missing out on a lot of opportunities.
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