I have been seeing more and more of ‘How to use: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter’ types of classes pop up around the area. Is it useful? Well, that depends on how tech savvy you are, how new you are to searching on the Internet and how much time you are willing to invest in learning something new. But, why would you want to do it in the first place? Well, here are five reasons why social media marketing is right for your business.

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  •  Social media is an ‘immediate message tool’ – I think that the most important part of any social networking site for a business is to get your message out quickly — whether you have a new product, upcoming sale or promotion or just something that is interesting and going on internally within your business. People long to know more about the people/companies that they are doing business with. It’s surprising how much time people spend researching a company before buying from them. Consumers are doing their homework — reading blogs, user reviews, posting and reading comments about a product, reading a company’s website, etc. For example, an $11 book on Amazon (The Reader: A novel (Paperback)) has received over 700 customer reviews!
  •  The Internet is a tool to get things done. – Use the tool to your advantage to communicate with customers through email marketing, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog postings to your website, enabling product reviews (good and bad can be good for your product to help you understand potential flaws and learn more about your customers), research, sharing your product knowledge and so much more!
  •  Social media is also a tool; learn to use it! – A LinkedIn or Social Networking class may be useful to introduce you to these “immediate message tools” but it is true that it is personal to how a business uses that information to benefit and compliment existing marketing messages. A business should assess various social media outlets and determine what is most appropriate for your business, industry and target audience. Need help assessing the benefits for your businesses involvement with social media? Call on social media marketing expert Ocreative Design Studio.
  •  Social media relates to search engines rankings – Social networks are essentially search engines. It is likely a post that you make to Twitter will end up in a Google search for your company. This is a good thing. It shows that your website is popular especially if people Retweet or “RT” (The highest compliment you can get from Twitter users by sharing your post or what you said with their own followers or contacts). This external linking will boost the popularity of your website with a higher PageRank and a lower Alexa Rank (Each site across the internet has an Alexa Rank, the lower the number the better, which is an aggregate of the last three months of traffic data).

• Listen, Respond, Resolve – If you customer is unhappy with a product and complains about it on Twitter and you happen to be monitoring your business name on Twitter, you have an unbelievable opportunity to resolve the issue and retain that customer. Case in point, take any of the big box corporations, cable companies, phone companies etc, they are all monitoring their name on the social networking sites. In fact, most of the big box stores have at least 2+ people dedicated to monitoring these sites, on a full-time basis. Medium and small companies are monitoring it too, or should be monitoring it, for customer comments in order to resolve any customer issues — neutralize any negatives, reinforce the positives.

• Commit. Then determine your ROI – One thing that is difficult about social media is that it is additive – with each post, each touch point, you are building credibility, building your following and building a history. This continuous effort can make it difficult to determine your ROI. Each business is different; each post quality is different so no company is the same. The best move, in my opinion, is determine how much time you can invest and invest it. Build up your online presence through social media and form an opinion a year from now as to how successful your commitment was.

The world is immediate; can your business afford not to participate?

With the world literally at your fingertips, it is important to become a part of it (like you already are by reading this blog article). Building your business is about making touch points and Social Marketing is one of the many touch point opportunities you may have with both potential and current customers — one that can give you direct contact to a world of customers in a matter of minutes! Now, that is power; harness it and use it for your business!