When starting a business, the amount of social media platforms available can seem daunting. Social media is still relatively new phenomena and subject to so much change it can be overwhelming.
As with starting a business, you need a plan (a ‘marketing campaign’). Venturing into the world of social media requires a lot of research in establishing which ones are right for you and your business.
Having an online presence, however, isn’t just about setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account. Social media needs to be nurtured for it to grow. You need to understand what’s required to achieve your goals, reach clients and build relationships.
To benefit from social media, you need to know how to engage with your potential clients. Don’t expect overnight success once you’ve decided which platforms to utilise. To develop and grow your business via social media effectively takes time. A well-structured social media campaign can also uncover a previously untapped market of opportunity with the capacity to reach customers not just locally but globally.
Social media is cost effective. Even running targeted adverts can be an inexpensive way to promoting your business. Social media encourages business promotion and advertising at minimal to no cost. There are also many online apps you can use alongside your chosen social media networks that can help with marketing your brand and increasing your online visibility.
2. Builds brand loyalty
An online presence paves the way to brand recognition. By engaging with your clients, you can increase awareness and generate interest. Social media shouldn’t be about constant promotion and sales pitches. It’s an opportunity to develop and build relationships and nurture a good reputation. Engaging with your online community and sharing without the hard sell can develop trust and confidence.
3. Increased website traffic
Your website is the ‘home’ of your business – and social media gives you an opportunity to boost online traffic to your site. More visitors to your website will improve your online visibility and increase your website ranking on search engines.
4. Share content faster and easier
“Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.” – Jay Baer
Providing information regarding your business is no longer the marketing challenge it used to be. Social media provides immediate access when it comes to promoting and distributing your business’s most up-to-date information regarding products, services, or upcoming events. All that is required is sharing content via your social network. Content is key. Interacting and communicating with your online community via post, blogs or shares shouldn’t always be about marketing – sharing information can provide insights on a more personal level and provide a more enriching client experience.
5. Build client relationships
Social media not only provides access to your online community, it can also give great insights into your client base. You can access their status updates, read posts, tweets, blogs and articles. This can provide a better foundation for building or adjusting your marketing strategy and therefore provide a more tailored service. With greater bonds and more rewarding connections, you are more liking to gain work and/or referrals.
With its boundless functionality and unrestricted reach, an online presence can greatly benefit any business.
"Ignoring online marketing is like opening a business but not telling anyone" ~ Anonymous