December 5, 2014
The role of social media sites for making new business connections is a truism. In the past, online communities consisted of mostly those who participated in online activities as aliases. However, this has changed whereby social networks have been transformed into virtual world where millions of people now don’t hesitate to use their real identities online. People connect, interact and share online in the various social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google +.
Social media takes business people to their own virtual world where they can share new ideas, stories and thoughts. They can even join the online discussions with people they have never come across before. It is because of its great impact that social media has been widely embraced and is being adopted by the businesses who use it in a number of ways that include marketing a new line of products, selling more goods and services, developing a fan base, collecting market intelligence and increasing SEO. The businesspeople use the social media for their sales in the form of customer education, special discounts and giveaways.
A fundamental aspect of your business model, social media allows us to build our business connect, evaluate our brand and get feedback. Social media has created huge benefits for businesses
There can hardly be a debate that online social networks have changed the way people live their lives, communicate and work.
Social media is an absolute must for businesses of all sizes to connect with their customers. Social media can come to the rescue of the businesses who are under constant pressure to get clients or perish. Social media networking is also invaluable for those businesses that want to expand their existing business.
Customer engagement is a sine qua non for business success. For a majority of the businesses, social media is the preferred choice for making connect with their customers. However it is pertinent to ask a question. Do they have an effective social media strategy?
It has been found that companies hop into popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and start posting. These sites are used by them to unveil the latest ad campaign. One thing is crystal clear. Simply having their presence on Facebook or Twitter is not going to increase the consumer engagement. What is needed is a strategy and a plan when social media is used in business. The company has to maintain closer relationships with its clients and understand what they’re looking for and what it can offer to help.
What is of utmost importance is that the businesses should use the business social networks themselves without outsourcing their social media management.
According to study “Moving Beyond Marketing: Generating Social Business Value Across the Enterprise”, businesses are realising benefits from their social media initiatives, The study, conducted by Deloitte and MIT Sloan Management Review, states that the greater the level of social business ‘maturity’ of a firm, the greater the value it will derive from social initiatives. Apart from generating new leads, social media allows companies to create deeper relationships with existing customers that drives them to buy time and again.
However, there are many who doubt the benefits of online social networking in the office. As a matter of fact a majority of the companies don’t give their employees full access to social networking sites. Some have blocked Facebook and Twitter altogether. Their concern is that instead of cocnetrating on their jobs, the employees tempt to use the social networking sites to chat with friends. There is an inherent risk of leakage of sensitive corporate information.
However, if used properly, the social-networking has the potential of generating substantial benefits for the businesses that embrace them, regardless of size. In fact, those who are still averse to the idea of joining social networking sites will be lagging behind in the brave new world of global interconnectedness where new ideas, stories and innovations fly thicker and faster than ever before.
Customer engagement through social media can stand you in good stead in your quest to enhance business profits. According to the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner, 89 percent of respondents to the study are of the opinion that their social media initiatives have led to the generation of more exposure for their businesses.
However, with the proliferation of so many social media platforms, it is advisable for the companies to tailor their strategy to the respective social network. It is so because each social network has its own type of audience and style.
While using Facebook, the business should be consistent with posts while addressing the concerns of the customers. Not doing so is tantamount to showing indifference to the customers. Apart from making regular posts, you should perform a variety of other tasks on a regular basis to keep your customers engaged.
The business should not make the cardinal mistake of ignoring Google+ which is gaining momentum. With more than 300 million active users, Google+ is all set to make a dent in the social media landscape.
Before joining a social network site to derive business profits, you must know what your customer base is. Social media network can prove to be a smart business tool only if your existing customers and prospective clients are on the social media. Otherwise it is a waste of your time if your customers are not using social media.
Social media network is used by businesses to connect with existing customers and to develop new relationships. The popular social networking sites are useful tools for generating buzz for you products and services, enabling your followers to help you spread the word.
After embracing social media, the first thing for the business is to establish its own online community of end-users which will engage with its products and services. The members of the community will help businesses establish their goodwill, and will play a significant role in enhancing their presence in the market. This community will prove to your valuable asset and will be your partner and an integral part of your social media strategy.
Developing a closer relationship with your end-users is of utmost importance for the businesspeople to generate leads. An effective social media strategy is more about listening than saying. Since people share a lot of information on the social networking sites, it is advisable that you listen to what they are saying. By doing so you would be able to engage in a meaningful conversation with them.
After developing a relationship which is based on trust, you can tell them how your product or service might be something they need.
However, while building your community, it must be ensured that it remains loyal and consist to you. Otherwise it will become a major handicap to your business pursuits. You will have to take pains to answer the queries of the members of the community, share intelligence with them and provide advice.
It can be said without a shadow of doubt that social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Google + are useful inbound approach for making new business connections and connecting and interacting you’re your clients and prospects. Social media can help you know your customers and establish closer relationships with them which are an integral part of the business process. Social media allows businesspeople to see what people are saying about their brand and competitors. It’s a great way to make business connect and enter into conversation with your prospects generating new leads and leading to a business sale and profit
Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are the three big social networking sites for generating leads. Being a more professional networking environment, LinkedIn is the most useful platform for sales of B2B products or services and is the appropriate place to connect with clients.
While using social network for business you should not limit yourself to Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram only. Blogs, live chats and comment sections on various websites are also great places to generate leads.