[guest post by Savannah Wardle]

It’s no longer a trendy or innovative tool for the tech savvy, – social media has literally integrated every part of our society, and if you’re not participating, you’re probably on your way out.

Here are 7 reasons that social media is essential to your business success.

What’s a Phone Book?

Today’s consumer has grown up in an Internet-based world, with Kindles, iPods and internet access at their fingertips. Google has become the first resource that people go to when searching for goods and services, and many of today’s customers have never laid eyes on a phone book or a print newspaper.

Relying on outdated forms of advertising is essentially throwing away your advertising budget; the return on investment for any form of print advertising is shrinking faster than you can imagine.

It’s Cost Effective

If you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck, nothing beats free. For the most part, you can set up a solid social media presence with nothing more than some time and a little creativity. Sure, there are paid services that can help increase the output, but almost all social media platforms are free to create an account and get started.

You Can Improve Customer Service

Not only can you, but you’ll find that having top-notch customer service is also critical in maintaining your reputation and earning power. With services like Yelp! and other online review sites, dissatisfied customers can quickly derail your reputation.

Keeping a constant eye on your social media sites and reviews will let you know almost instantly when there’s a problem, giving you an opportunity to correct it and reach out to your customer. This kind of personalized service is exactly what today’s consumers are looking for.

You Can Connect With Your Customers

Social media isn’t just a place where you can advertise; it’s an open invitation for discourse. You can learn what your customers want and need are directly from their questions, conversations, and discussions. If you have someone dedicated to responding to your social media accounts, you can respond to your customers by name – or even spend a bit of time lurking on their public profiles to help understand what their challenges are. By responding to their needs and concerns in real-time, you will build customer loyalty and trust in your brand.

You Can Connect With New Customers

Never before has it been so easy to gain new customers. As people depend on the opinions of their friends, colleagues, and family when searching for products and services, all they have to do is click “share” to let people know when they’ve found something useful to them. The snowball effect of social media sharing can really help expand you customer base, as they in turn share your posts with others as well.

Analytics and Answers

One of the most useful parts of having an online social media presence is analytics. They can help you track web traffic, demographics, time, spending patterns, which posts gain the most interest, or which ones flop.

This can help you further tailor your online marketing and social media strategy to target your customer base with things that appeal directly to them. Social media strategy can also let you reach out directly to your customers to find out what your business is lacking, taking the guesswork out of data analysis.

You Can Improve Your Brand Image and Reputation

There’s no end to the ways in which you can take advantage of social media strategy. Aside from advertising, you can also lend credibility to your business by posting a thoughtful and educating post about a topic in your industry.

Have your Quality Assurance department write a detailed blog post about the care that goes into making sure that your products are perfect, and you’ll improve your image, reputation, and your credibility. Differentiate your content to reach as many different parts of your audience as you can, and you’ll soon reap the rewards.

 

** About the Author: Savannah Wardle is an active writer currently working at Course Guru, Australian online education experts. She is passionate about writing and all things entrepreneurship.

What is your social media strategy? Share with us in the comments or on Twitter @flow_reader!