Many businesses are starting to take full advantage of social media, with the benefits for well executed campaigns being huge for both large businesses and small organisations. However, some business owners are still trying to find reasons to take part. Trying to identify a single ‘reason’ to get involved is probably not the best approach. The simple answer is that social media, when used correctly, can bring a huge amount of benefits to a business and not just serve one single purpose.
As anyone who has had any success with social media will tell you, it should serve to gain new traffic, keep existing users engaged and much more. In one way, the benefits should be a ‘circular’ effect, with the turning wheel effectively feeding the activity of your website. I think it’s also wrong to look at social media as a primary or secondary focus, it should really be a fully integrated part of your online marketing activities. I’ve listed a few of the many benefits below, which should help to illustrate my point!
Gaining New Traffic
This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons that companies are initially attracted to social media, and rightly so. The potential reach of a website such as Facebook or Twitter is huge when compared to traditional media, and as such it would be silly to ignore the fact that large amounts of traffic can be generated. By regularly promoting great content and discussion, word should spread amongst friends and you should easily be able to attract new people to your brand. Companies also have the chance to take advantage of social media advertising, which compared with traditional methods is still relatively cheap.
Keeping Existing Users Engaged
The second main benefit of social media is having a channel with which to keep your existing users engaged. Some of the most successful websites have reached their dizzying heights by creating a community around their brand. Even if your industry is ‘dull’, social media offers a great platform to make your users feel part of something. Keeping them coming back for more should help you continually grow your online presence; attracting new people all the time whilst at the same time keeping your existing traffic happy and returning regularly.
Building a Buzz
Word of mouth is nothing new, and has always been cited as one of the most powerful marketing tools a company can have in its arsenal. As with the real world, word of mouth on social media is free yet can spread extremely quickly. The idea here is that if you give people something to talk about, word should start to spread. One of the other benefits to social media is that it truly gives a company a chance to be slightly more edgy with what they’re saying, and to steer away from stiff corporate language. The more you put out, the more word should spread, and ‘buzz’ surrounding your brand should grow with it.
Often, one of the most surprising aspects of social media is its use in customer service. No longer does a customer have to go through a ‘procedure’ to complain or send in feedback. Now it can be done instantly, although this time it’s in the public domain. This scares quite a lot of companies, but don’t forget it also gives you the opportunity to respond instantly.