In order for your company to reap the media benefits necessary for survival you must use social media. The world is in the process of great change, and one of the main changes we are seeing today is the increased use of online media and social networks for business and marketing purposes. There are as of today over 1 billion users on Facebook and well over 200 million on Twitter and so the potential to find new customers via these platforms has never been greater.
According to a survey conducted by Research in Motion, the makers of Blackberry, a staggering 69% stated they had found social media very useful in helping them compete with larger companies of a similar nature. The research also highlighted that 53% of those using social networks for their business were utilising it as part of a larger growth strategy, while 70% of those who weren’t were primarily focused on cash in-flows.
Sites such as Pinterest and the now growing website known as Flickr give companies the opportunity to showcase their products or services with eye-catching images and themselves have huge audiences to boot. Additionally sites such as Youtube ensure that all types of companies in any niche market are able to reach the public with video adverts that can be both promotional and simply informative on the nature of an organisation and the work they do. Social media an entity itself is also spreading as the advent of Google+ provides a very similar service to Facebook but with greater emphasis placed on building interest-based communities.
By opening up your business to its customer base, you also open up room for feedback which could be either positive or negative. Though of course you will want to lessen the visibility of negative feedback, it can nevertheless be useful for improving the service you provide to customers. Social media essentially allows you to observe everything people are saying about your business, the good, the bad and the ugly and in this way you are given what could be described as an automated survey response. It follows a trend in which people are beginning to use platforms such as Facebook for finding information and answers to questions instead of popular search engines like Google. In this way these platforms are being used as recommendation engines in which people can thank you for your services as well as recommend you to others.
By possessing a social media platform for your business, you automatically demonstrate to your client base that you care about the perception of your brand or company. However, you should also be very wary not to exploit this line of communication but remain true to what social media advertising is all about, and that is providing interesting and engaging content as well as discussions about key products and services.
Additionally, over the last few years social media has also begun to grow onto mobile devices. Apps like Instagram, Vine and Facebook Mobile mean that people can stay continuously connected to one another. Moreover with geo-targeting apps within these platforms, businesses can even find nearby customers and target their advertisement campaigns to them.
All in all, social media today has become one of the most powerful tools to allow businesses to grow, as it provides a low-cost (and in some cases free) platform for advertising and marketing, a huge potential audience and a place where individuals can be kept up to date on the latest news and headlines. It is also a great place to promote new products and allow forum-type discussion for customers who have used your services.