Benefits of Social Media
Oh, where to start?! So many things to say in so little time. Here’s a quick high-level look at some of the benefits of social media – four ways a carefully and regularly maintained social media presence can help to grow and support your business.
Broadcasting where you’ll be heard
Perhaps you have one of those audiences who don’t like picking up their phone to make a call but are still glued to it through the day for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or similar – if you can’t get them to come to you, go where they are. Post on Facebook, Tweet, send Snaps and see what response you get. It’s not just about talking their language, you have to talk in places where you’ll be heard – and social media is that place for at least part of your audience.
Testing the waters
Social media isn’t just about pushing your own message at people – you also get to see what messages other people are pushing and following. Have a look at what your customers are talking about – get a feel for what they value, what they’re hankering for and what they don’t like. This is the sort of information that can lead you to refine your products and how you promote them. You can also get some facts about what your competitors are up to – see what’s working for them and what mistakes they’re making that you can learn to avoid.
Part of the beauty of connecting on social channels is just that – connection. Speaking to and hearing from your target community is great, but with social media you can go the next step and respond. Starting and maintaining your conversation with your audience builds genuine engagement and the opportunity to create a sense of ‘us-ness’ with the people you’re trying to reach.
- Got some dissatisfied customers complaining loudly about your service/products? Consider reaching out and answering them publically to take control of the topic and turn it around.
- Found a sector of your audience looking for something in particular? Let them know what you offer that will meet their needs.
- Are some of your customers mentioning your services/products in a favourable way? Why not reward them and encourage their repeat business and continued promotion?
- Are your customers providing constructive criticism? Genuinely listen and respond respectfully. They could be showing you an excellent way to improve your business or presence.
Refining your image
When you’re advertising your presence and products, being heard effectively is critical but it’s not the only hurdle – you also need to be careful with what you’re saying. Social media lets you communicate rich, multimedia content in a time-sensitive context, giving you fine-grained control over your digital presence. Take control of the message reaching your audience about who you are and what you do by:
- Carefully planning your broadcasts. Pushing text, images, audio and video to your audience can have a big impact on how they perceive you – make sure it’s the perception you want them to have. Every post you make should be crafted to align with your brand message.
- Be polite to your critics. As demonstrated in the story of ‘Optus Dan’, people respect strong but courteous reactions to unfair attacks, so however tempting it might be to flame your detractors, resist!
- Become a part of the stories currently playing out in the world around us. With social media, you can – in real time – comment on the topics trending in your industry, lend your voice in support or condemnation of people and causes and join the conversations and actions important to your customers. As a lot of people remember stories more easily that lists of facts, being a part of the narratives that matter to your audience can increase your memorability.