Social media began soon after the invention of the World Wide Web in 1989. But social media as we know it only took off in the 21st century. For such a new tool, social media has tremendous power in society, particularly Facebook and Twitter. In this post, I’ll discuss the benefits of social media for business.
FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS
ADVERTISING: Most of the social media platforms are free to join and free to post content on. They make their money from paid ads which, in my experience, are not very expensive compared to mainstream media adverts.
New products/services can be advertised quite easily. Targeted paid ads can reach the exact audience desired. Mainstream media ads can refer back to a business’s social platform.
If a business can list its products/services on their social media platform – Facebook does this well – then there is little need for mass printing of physical brochures. This is both financially and environmentally cost-effective.
Social media platforms are almost worldwide, giving a large audience reach. Some countries restrict the use of certain platforms. China blocks a whole host of English language platforms. My Guide to Iran lists the platforms banned in that country during my visit.
SALES: Products can be sold 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No physical shop is required for selling via social media channels.
BUSINESS TO BUSINESS CONNECTION
Social media has B2B benefits. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for connecting and networking with key industry personnel.
Social media is great for connecting with other businesses including co-promotion using tagging.
Social media doesn’t have to solely focus on products/services as relevant industry news can be shared as well.
The benefits of social media for business are most visible in marketing and there are a whole host of benefits such as:
- Creating brand recognition and making your logo recognisable.
- Drive internet traffic to your website.
- Updating business information quickly such as opening hours.
- Carrying out targeted marketing according to location, age, interests etc.
- Interacting with customers.
- Creating a more human side to the business and making it fun.
- Carrying out customer surveys.
- Charting reach of content posted through in-built platform analytics that deliver immediate feedback (i.e. what demographic is seeing and interacting with your content).
- Publishing and promoting news, updates and events.
- Holding live events.
- Creating shareable content. This enhances search engine optimisation.
- Editing and posting eye-catching images. This can be of products/services or can be an image of something related to your business/industry. For example, hotels in my region regularly post images of the nearby fabulous scenery.
- Posting videos. This type of content is very useful for businesses who want to show customers how to use their products. Beauty salons use this method very well.
- Automating posts for 24/7 promotion.
- Reacting and promoting to coincide with seasonal events (e.g. Christmas).
- Piggybacking on celebrity choices (e.g. Cristiano Ronaldo boots now in stock).
- Cross-promoting on other social media channels.
- Influencers tagging/promoting your social media channel on their online channels.
- Building an online community that can interact and share your posts. This is often called word of mouse, the online version of word of mouth.
- Search engines such as Google list social media accounts on search results.
Whether your content is your own, earned or paid, social media is a great way of connecting with customers and other businesses. Although the social media platform algorithms change regularly, it’s still a powerful and cost-effective marketing tool.
What has been your experience of social media for your business? Leave your comments below.