By 2018, there will be 2.5 billion social media users worldwide. For businesses, this is an enormous market which can be tapped into with just a few buttons. However, far from being disengaged, research in 2015 revealed that recommendations posted on Facebook influenced 52% of consumer’s purchases.
It’s clear that social media can benefit your business but if you haven’t yet taken the leap and set up social profiles, here are a few other ways you’ll benefit:
Increase your brand awareness
Social media allows your business to promote itself, for free and to a wide audience. Limited characters on areas such as Twitter posts also prompt you to be creative and explain yourself clearly. From your social media interactions you’ll gain comments and likes and these are your social currency, which you can then use to translate into actual business. Regular posting is crucial to engage your followers in what you have to say but also be sure to make conversation – social media needs to be social so chat with your followers whenever possible.
Learn more about your audience
As you increase your interactions with your audience you’ll end up learning more about them and, as such, learning more about the people interested in your brand. Analysis of who is following you will then tell you loads about them such as where they live and the age demographic you are most attracting. You can also see who else they follow and what sort of things they are interested in – this tells you where you sit in the industry and indicates trends you may be able to utilise.
Give great customer service
For many people social media is a great way to communicate with brands. From being able to praise or promote something great which has happened to being able to raise a query or complaint, many consumers expect a brand to have a social media profile. If you do have social media channels it’s then really important that you are frequently engaged as the Social Habit reports that 42% of customers who reach out to brands online expect a response within the hour.
This can pay off for you, 71% of consumers who have had a good social media customer service experience with a brand are then likely to recommend that company to others.
Understand more about your competitors
Social media is also great for building your business intelligence about your competitors as it allows you to see what they are doing on a daily basis. Make sure you are keeping an eye on what your key rivals are doing across social media. If you sell similar products or run a similar business you will be fighting for the same customers so look to see what is working well for them on social media and try to see how you can do something similar yourself.
Get feedback and plan for the future
Historically, when businesses wanted to gain consumer feedback it used to be an expensive and long-drawn out task. Now you have your customers waiting for you – and eager to hear from you and be involved. Co-creation, where the customer is involved in the brands they shop with, is an increasingly popular customer loyalty trend. By asking your followers on social media what they think of a new product, new packaging or a new service you are thinking of offering you’ll get immediate feedback and your customer will want to find out more.