It’s a pervasive reality that has inundated the American culture full force and head on: social media. The rise of social media in today’s society has caused a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. We use it to reconnect with old friends from high school, our college roommates, and even to promote our companies and organizations.
With all the hype surrounding Twitter, Facebook, and blogging, it’s tempting to quickly jump on the social media and networking train. Many companies see social media as a relatively inexpensive new marketing tool. But if you are going to invest in building a social media presence, you need to be able to measure the effectiveness of such campaigns.
You may have questions about the different types of social media and have been hesitating to follow the new trend. Can it truly give an organization a competitive edge and return on investment? Is it worth the time and commitment?
People or organizations that use social media to simply promote their latest product or best idea are missing the point of social networking. They will likely have a difficult time attracting followers. But if you can interact with your followers on a personal level, you will be able to leverage social media in a way that can increase your brand reputation.
Your branding is the sum of all that contributes to how your business is perceived and recognized by the outside world and most importantly, your clients. If you utilize social media to gain customer feedback, communicate with followers, and follow-up with questions or concerns, you will find that it is an inexpensive tool to promote your organization.
Below are some of the benefits of social media:
- Increased visibility and brand awareness.
Facebook has more than 370 million active users with more than 10 million users becoming fans of pages each day. By the sheer number of people who are using social media, your organization is sure to be seen and noticed. The more your audience sees and hears about your business in a positive light, the more they will want to know and share with others.
- Increased personality and connectivity.The use of social media can put a “face” on your organization and help you appear more personable. Companies that are represented by a real, living human will have more interaction with their customers and clients. Social media can allow the brand personality of your organization to show through and become real to your target market. The “companionship” that is created through social media can be a valuable asset to your organization.
- Increased communication and feedback.Twitter and Facebook can give your organization a platform to communicate openly with followers. You can utilize social media to test product ideas, names, and get majority feedback. Though it can be difficult to reply to everything, be sure to follow questions, ideas, or concerns and try your best to reply to the comments. Take suggestions and comments from your followers and use them to make your product or services better suited to meet your customers’ needs.
Along with the benefits noted above, social media can also be a useful tool to promote and spread the message of the Gospel. Social media can reach people who otherwise would never think about stepping foot in a church. Although you probably shouldn’t tweet during church, many Christian leaders post short Scriptures, encouragement, or information to promote ministry events. The concise messages can reach a diverse range of people and impact the lives of many.
With social media evolving, it will be some time before companies figure out how to fully exploit its potential. There are benefits that can come from using social media as another component of your marketing strategy, but recognize that it is not wise to rely fully on the new trend. Understanding what motivates your customer is still key, and social media can be an inexpensive way to relate to your customers and meet their needs.