Top 10 Benefits of Social Media

Here’s a look at just some of the ways Social Media Marketing can improve your business:

1. Increased Brand Recognition

Every opportunity you have to distribute your content and increase your visibility is valuable. Social media networks are simply new channels for your brand’s voice and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier to reach and more accessible for new customers, and makes you more familiar and recognizable for existing customers.

2. Improved brand loyalty

Brands that engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal ~ 53% of Americans who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those brands.

3. More Opportunities to Convert

Every post or update you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion. Not every interaction with your brand results in a conversion, but every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion.

4. Higher conversion rates

Social media marketing results in higher conversion rates in a few distinct ways. Perhaps the most significant is its humanization element; the fact that brands become more humanized by interacting in social media channels. Social media is a place where brands can act like people do, and this is important because people like doing business with other people; not with companies.

5. Higher Brand Authority

Interacting with your customers regularly is a show of good faith for other customers. When people go to compliment or brag about a product or service, they turn to social media. And when they post your brand name, new audience members will want to follow your updates. The more people that are talking about you on social media, the more valuable and authoritative your brand will seem to new users.

6. Increased Inbound Traffic

Without social media, your inbound traffic is limited to people already familiar with your brand and individuals searching for keywords you currently rank for. Every social media profile you add is another path leading back to your site, and every piece of content you distribute on those profiles is another opportunity for new visitors. The more quality content you post on social media, the more inbound traffic you’ll generate, and more traffic means more leads and more conversions.

7. Decreased Marketing Costs

If you can lend just one hour a day to developing your content and distribution strategy, you could start seeing the results of your efforts. Even paid advertising through Facebook and Twitter is relatively cheap (depending on your goals, of course). Start small and you’ll never have to worry about going over budget—once you get a better feel for what to expect, you can increase your budget and increase your conversions correspondingly.

8. Better Search Engine Rankings

SEO is the best way to capture relevant traffic from search engines, but the requirements for success are always changing. It’s no longer enough to regularly update your blog or web site, ensure optimized title tags and meta descriptions, and distribute links pointing back to your site. Google and other search engines may be calculating their rankings using social media presence as a significant factor, because of the fact that strong brands almost always use social media. As such, being active on social media could act as a “brand signal” to search engines that your brand is legitimate, credible, and trustworthy. That means, if you want to rank for a given set of keywords, having a strong social media presence could be almost mandatory.

9. Richer Customer Experiences

Social media, at its core, is a communication channel like email or phone calls. Every customer interaction you have on social media is an opportunity to publicly demonstrate your customer service level and enrich your relationship with your customers. For example, if a customer complains about your product on Twitter, you can immediately address the comment, apologize publicly, and take action to make it right. Or, if a customer compliments you, you can thank them and recommend additional products. It’s a personal experience that lets customers know you care about them.

10. Improved Customer Insights

Social media also gives you an opportunity to gain valuable information about what your customers are interested in and how they behave, via social listening. For example, you can monitor user comments to see what people think of your business directly. You can segment your content syndication lists based on topic and see which types of content generate the most interest—and then produce more of that type of content. You can measure conversions based on different promotions posted on various social media channels and eventually find a perfect combination to generate revenue.

These are the benefits of sustaining a long-term social media campaign, but if you’re still apprehensive about getting started, consider these points:

  • Your Competition Is Already Involved. Your competitors are already involved on social media, which means your potential social media traffic and conversions are being poached. Don’t let your competitors reap all the benefits while you stand idly by. If, somehow, your competition is not involved on social media, there’s even more of a reason to get started—the field is open.
  • The Sooner You Start, the Sooner You Reap the Benefits. Social media is all about relationship building, and it tends to grow exponentially as your followers tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends, and so on. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be able to start growing that audience.
  • Potential Losses Are Insignificant. Realistically, you don’t have anything to lose by getting involved in social media. The amount of time and money it takes to create your profiles and start posting is usually minimal, compared to other marketing channels. Just six hours a week or a few hundred dollars is all it takes to establish your presence.

Bottom-Line

The longer you wait, the more you have to lose. Social media marketing, when done right, can lead to more customers, more traffic, and more conversions, and it’s here to stay…

5 Reasons Why You Need a Facebook Page for Your Business

Facebook for Small Business
It’s apparent that social media is here to stay. Small business owners who use social networking sites effectively are able to promote their businesses in powerful ways.

One of the best ways to use social media for business is with a Facebook business page. Here are five reasons why a Facebook page for your small business simply makes good business sense.

Reason # 1 – Your Facebook page can teach you more about your target audience

Having a Facebook page for your small business gives you a way to talk to and get direct feedback from your target audience. Think of it like an ongoing focus group. Your fans are there because they are aware of your company, and want to learn more. While they are certainly expecting to receive useful information from your Facebook page, you can also be collecting useful information from them through their participation.

Facebook Insights provides extremely useful information about your fans and their interactions on your page. As a microcosm of your target market, your Facebook fans can tell you a lot about what they want through their interactions, comments, and feedback.

Reason # 2 – A Facebook page gives you a chance to “humanize” your company

Social connections and genuine communication are integral parts of social media, and a Facebook page for your small business gives you a unique opportunity to attach a face, name, and personality to your brand. While your Facebook page may be representative of your company, it also allows you to show the human side of your business through one-on-one conversations, personal tidbits, and non-business interaction.

Even if you automate parts of your social media activity, you can fit in a moderate amount of live, on-the-spot communication to create richer, more “human” relationships.

Reason # 3 – You can build a community on your Facebook page

Facebook pages are excellent places to gather together your customers, prospects, and fans to provide reviews, share opinions, voice concerns and offer feedback. You can build a community on your Facebook page in a number of ways, including:

  • Posting useful, relevant and interesting links
  • Asking fans to contribute with comments
  • Organizing contests and promotions
  • Providing a place to leave reviews and other feedback
  • Offering incentives for activity on the page

If the Facebook page you create for your business successfully brings people together, you can develop a loyal following that will continue to grow.

Reason # 4 – Your competition may already have a Facebook page

We generally wouldn’t recommend taking action in any area of your business simply because your competition is doing it. However, when it comes to social media, not having a Facebook page or presence on other social networks can cost you opportunities, especially if your competition is using social media – and using it well.

Reason # 5 – You can put your business in front of your clients and customers every day

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of having a Facebook page for your small business is the ability to provide status updates, shared links and videos, and other information appear in your fans’ news feeds once they “like” your page.

With more than 2 billion active Facebook users daily, an increasing number of consumers are using the site to find products, services, and brands to solve their everyday problems. Facebook and other social networks make it easy for potential customers to find you. And when they do, they are often more likely to remember your brand and share it with their own connections.

Ultimately, a branded Facebook page for your business can be a powerful way to expand your reach and increase awareness of your business online.

Why Your Small Business Should Use Twitter

Twitter for Small BusinessIf you run a small business and aren’t using Twitter, We have to ask, why not? It seems that just about everyone else on the planet with access to the web or a cell phone is. Your small business needs to be there too. Here’s why:

Everyone else is doing it.

The guy who runs the convenience store down the street. The landscaper that does your neighbors yard. The shoe store owner. And lots of big companies, such as Dell, HP, AT&T, and Microsoft. In fact, 74% of 2013 Inc 500 companies use Twitter and 377 of the 2013 Fortune 500 companies have a corporate Twitter account. Having your business on Twitter is smart.

Twitter is good optics.

Using Twitter is evidence that your small business is participating in social media and obviously a “with-it” kind of outfit that people might be interested in doing business with. It’s just not enough to have a website anymore.

Twitter is a fast way to get the message out.

Assuming your potential and existing customers are on Twitter, you can instantly let them know your news, whether it’s an announcement or a new product, a special deal, or an upcoming event they may be interested in.

Twitter will help you stay on top of your industry and/or market segment.

Twitter lets you hear what other people are saying. Using Twitter Search, you can find out what people are saying about a particular topic, enabling you to keep your ear to the ground about your company and the competition.

Twitter will help you refine your brand.

By participating in Twitter (that is, using it to communicate with others, rather than just spamming product announcements) you can present and develop the kind of image that attracts your potential customers, and refine your brand. (Remember; communication is a two-way thing.)

Twitter is a great networking tool.

Being on Twitter will give you opportunities to meet and talk to oodles of people, some of whom you would never get the chance to talk to otherwise. And some of those people might be the very business contacts you’ve been seeking, people you want to start projects with, source product from or even hire.

Twitter helps you engage your customers.

Posting information about your products and/or services is the obvious use.

But Twitter also gives you another channel for listening to and finding out about your customers – what they like or dislike about your company, how they feel about your brand, what suggestions they have for improvement, what their favorite products are and why… all kinds of nuggets that you can use to make your business more successful.

So there you have it. In a nutshell, Twitter can provide your small business with another channel to inform and engage your current and potential customers – and every opportunity to do that is worth exploring.

You will want to make sure, though, that you’re using Twitter properly to promote your business, so you don’t get seen as a spammer and damage your small business’s reputation.

 

10 Reasons Why You Need a Web Presence for Your Business

Reason #1 – Online Brochure

Web Presence
Companies spend millions creating brochures and distributing them every year. By having a website you can skip that entirely. Your potential customers can find out about you and any of your products or services online. If you get most of your business through networking and personal connections, then potential customers will want to check out your website.

Reason #2 – More Customers

Billions of people use the internet every day, and some 90% of those have purchased something, or contacted a company, online in the last 12 months. So by not having a website, you’ll be missing the bus.

Reason #3 – Business Value

Have you tried getting a business loan recently? It’s not easy, but if you try and the bank manager asks to see your website, you better have a pretty good one. It doesn’t just stop with the bank; the perceived value of your business will be lower in everyone’s eyes – especially your customers – if you do not have a well established web presence.

Reason #4 – Influence

By having a website potentially thousands of people are going to see it. You are able to influence people’s decisions and educate them.

Reason #5 – Helps with Business Goals

When it comes to writing the content for your website, you are going to revisit things about your business that you haven’t in years. You will most likely reassess your business goals, and that can be a very good thing.

Reason #6 – Low Barriers of Entry

Ever wanted to start a business? Well, now you can do it with virtual space at far below the cost of a brick-and-mortar setup.

Reason #7 – 24 Hours per Day

Your website runs 24/7 without any supervision or need to lock it up. You will always be there for your customers.

Reason #8 – Communication with Customers

By having a simple blog or even just a feed on your website, you can update customers on your newest offers, products, promotions, events, photos, or any other content.

Reason #9 – Marketing

The internet has opened up a whole new world of marketing that didn’t exist before. Your website can attract new business by using a whole host of low cost marketing techniques.

Reason #10 – Customer Support

You can greatly reduce the cost of customer support by have a ticketing system, or even just an FAQ on your website.