Social media has become a force that redefines public image and brand representation. A company or business that does not utilize social media will be surprised by the negative attention it can attract. Social media is used as a template to learn what communication goes on between the company and the customer, as well as how your company responds to questions and shout-outs. Having a strong presence in the world of online social media means showing prospective customers and your competitors that you are innovative and interested in reaching a larger audience. Using your social media profiles as a type of pseudo public relations department is manageable, and your customers will appreciate the chance to use modern avenues to reach your business.
Here are some of the benefits of using social media.
See Your Customers
Using social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ allows the company to see who is following their product or service. You can look at their profiles, posts and tweets and learn what kind of demographic your company reaches. Is this the audience you seek? If not, how can you use your social media to reach them?
Allows You to See Reactions
Whether or not your business is receiving the best publicity, with social media you get a direct link to whatever is being said. By having profiles on various social media outlets, you are able to have instant notification when someone is talking about you and what they’re saying. Even more, you can see how others respond to whatever they’re saying. So even if it seems like you’re being bashed, look at the comments. Others might disagree.
Reach Out to Supporters
The best part about social media is that it allows for anyone to speak their opinion or share their information. Social media provides you with the opportunity to, as a company, reach out to those that have shown support for you and to thank them. Doing this creates a stronger customer base as well as helps show prospective customers that you are a business that cares and gives back.
Let Customers Know What Changes You’ve Made
If you are a business or restaurant, social media can be useful in alerting the world to any changes you’ve made. If you have a new business leader, new store, or an upcoming product, showing it on social media sites can help your customers prepare and become excited about your innovations. It’s quick, direct and reaches a wide audience.
Helps to Deal with Backlash
If you or your company has undergone a less than savory media struggle, using social media to apologize or explain can be particularly useful. Making a personal statement on social media allows for your information to spread quickly, but be careful – once it is written, there is no taking it back.
Support Your Customers
By using social media outlets, you can use techniques like coupons, contests and prizes to support your current customers as well as provide incentive to prospective customers. For example, if you’re in Louisiana, a Cajun restaurant may offer a free dinner or drink special or a bank may reduce the fees for opening a personal banking account. It depends on your location, of course! If your followers share a particular offer, they are acting as your publicity by showing their friends and followers what they like and what else your company has to offer.