Since many consumers largely rely upon information they get from the internet in order to make decisions regarding businesses, products, and services, it has become fairly common knowledge that establishing and maintaining an online reputation is vital to any business’ success. But when it comes to building and maintaining one’s online reputation, establishing an online presence through a professional business website is simply not enough. This does not mean that a website is pointless or entirely unhelpful, only that it is simply a starting point for the business. In addition to a well-designed and maintained website with a regularly updated blog, it is important for the business to also participate in social media–and not just to garner lots of likes, fans or followers. It’s actually key to a business’ overall marketing plan.
Social Media Marketing
When a consumer is considering the products or services they need and want, it is, of course, important to determine who can provide them with these products or services. However, they require far more than simply the knowledge that a business can provide products or services–they need to know that they can trust the business, that they will receive excellent customer service from the business, and that the products or services from the business will be the absolute best available. Gaining this knowledge occurs easily through social media, where the individual can not only interact with the business, but also with other consumers who have formed relationships with the business. More specifically, social media can provide a business with the following benefits:
- It creates more brand awareness. It is plainly obvious that a business will be unsuccessful in creating conversions among those consumers who simply don’t understand they exist. This is the problem with creating even the most beautifully designed website and then sitting back and waiting for consumers to “show up,” there is just no guarantee that they will. However, when a business has a social media presence that they actively maintain, their content can be more easily seen and shared among others, which leads to more brand awareness.
- It proves the business is active. A static website can be a bit of a question mark for a consumer–simply because its existence alone does not necessarily mean that the business is active. However, a social media site that is routinely updated with new content and comments indicates that the business is active and interacting with consumers, which is very attractive.
- It helps to increase sales without expensive or hard-core advertising. Creating more brand awareness and proving a business’ activity can increase sales all on its own, but a business can also use their social media site to share valuable content that answers questions and provides solutions. In so doing, this can drive up consumer interest and lead to conversions and sales.
- It can improve a business’ customer service. It can happen that a consumer will avoid reporting a concern, question or issue through a business’ website customer service channels, but will reach out to the business through their social media site. When the business responds quickly and professionally, they can increase their value in the eyes of current and future customers.
- It allows content to spread like wildfire. Content that is shared on social media can quickly go viral–in a way that is highly beneficial to a business that has deliberately put that content there–and dramatically expand the business’ reach.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to marketing, a business is usually looking for the most efficient and effective method by which to reach out to their target audience and create conversions. With professional social media management, they are able to take advantage of a channel that many consumers today rely upon and that can, therefore, greatly boost their return on investment.