You have probably heard more than you care to about social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, their popularity and the viral nature of people’s posts that claim to “crash the Internet.” Dramatics aside, social media serves many valuable functions in the company business plan, particularly how it relates to your customers. Engaged and happy customers usually translate into an increased bottom line.
Asking why social media is a critical component to your business is answered by simply taking a glance at the key marketing demographic of age. The majority of social media users are between the ages of 18 and 35, which is where much of the future purchasing power lies. Your business cannot afford to view its success in a “now” context but must adapt to changing trends and increased competition on the Internet and locally. This means continually being aware of what is going on in the minds of your current and prospective customers. Social media is the most cost effective way to achieve this end.
The Advertising Angle
An obvious maxim of advertising is that the best kind is word of mouth. In the digital age, that word will come in a digital form on web site posts, blogs and social media. The one way to guarantee your company’s brand will get exposure is to create a strategy to get it noticed on social media – in a positive way. It is possible to get noticed in a negative way, which is something you want to avoid. Like your business plan, the marketing and advertising plan needs to be created to carefully select a target market to address, then have an actionable plan to move forward.
It’s All About The Customer
While using social media will usually result in an increased brand awareness, it can also be used to address the problems and issues that arise from your current customer base. This is particularly true if there is a problem that exists with one of your products. Without the effective use of social media, your customer service department may be inundated with a thousand phone calls about the same problem with a resulting loss of productivity. Social media can be used to broadcast the fact that the company is aware of the problem and is working to resolve the issue. This action can be completed with a single tweet on Twitter. The time and cost effectiveness, along with your customers being immediately aware of the situation, will directly and positively affect your bottom line.
Today’s consumers are said to be more aware of the business end of the products they buy and their alternatives should their current choice of company not meet their expectations. What is closer to the truth is that consumers are more demanding and expect either more bang for their buck or a lower competitive price. The money budgeted for advertising needs to get the maximum return in the form of sales and profit in order to remain competitive. Social media is both cost effective and consumer friendly. These are the two most important factors in keeping your business profitable, and are why a social media presence is essential.