Social media is a big deal. Facebook has over 700 million users, Twitter has over 300 million, and new sites like Pinterest are racking up new users every day. So what does this have to do with the way you do business? In a word – everything. Social media was once a way for people to stay connected with family and friends, but today it is a way for businesses to connect with customers and draw in new ones. Unless you include social media in your marketing plan, you will be missing out on a vast pool of potential customers. In order for you to understand how social media is changing the face of business, take a look at some recent trends.
- Business has moved away from just selling to connecting. They are developing relationships with their customers to solidify their brand identity and cement their customer’s loyalty. Businesses which are successful are sharing more about their company’s personality than their sales pitches. They are letting the personalities behind the company shine through. They are doing this by sharing information and activities they are involved in which benefit more than just their business. For example if one or more of your employees does the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk each year, have them share their experience on social media. This helps to connect the human side of your business and builds trust between you and your customers.
- Use social media to solve problems. People are more likely to complain about a bad experience than to share a good one. This can be a great opportunity to show you care about your customers. Offer solutions, or at the very least offer to speak to them personally to find a solution.
- Let your hair down a bit and let your employees be themselves. Instead of controlling how your employees use social media, let them have a bit of free reign. Give them the freedom to post and blog about things they care about. Set up guidelines and then let your employees start to build relationships with your customers. This puts a human face on your business.
- Social media has increased your availability. Instead of relying on your contact page to reach you, customers should be able to post on Facebook, tweet you on Twitter, leave comments on your blogs, and reach you by other social media sites. This not only increases your brand awareness, but it keeps you in contact with your customers. People are more likely to do business with a company they can get a hold of and get answers from quickly than one that takes weeks and sometimes months to respond to their questions and concerns.
Social media has indeed changed the way you do business in the 21st Century. If industry predictions are correct social media will continue to grow in influence and remain a valuable tool for marketing. Today’s consumer doesn’t just want a brand; they want a relationship with the people behind the brand. Tap into the need to connect, and see how social media can benefit your business.