Social media has blown up over the past 10 years, since then companies have tried to use this platform to interact and advertise to their audience with varied success. However with the success of Twitter and business pages on Facebook the opportunity to have your business succeed online has become much more of a reality as long as you put time and effort into it. On top of this, search engines have become clever enough to take into consideration the influence of social metrics to help your website rank high up the search engine results pages. With these factors in mind, we take a look at how social media can be utilized in 2013.
It is now coming to that stage whereby if a customer searches for your brand and can’t find your Twitter or Facebook account they will begin to question your integrity. Therefore having an active account on these platforms give the customer reassurance you are a credible organization who takes an interest in your audience. It is also important to note that a social media account that is very rarely updated can be potentially harmful to your reputation and brand, a customer doesn’t want to see a depleted page with dated news as it can cause them to think negatively of your brand.
Social media works on a personal level. Just as friends communicate with one another, business to consumer relationships can follow suit, whether it is answering a question someone has left on your profile or reaching out to potential consumers with the use of hashtags. Personal status updates are proven to give the greatest interaction with audience rather than some promotional jargon however combining the two is where the greatest benefit comes. An example of an ideal Twitter update for a travel company would be “Where does everyone want to visit this year? Tweet us with the hashtag #TravelForCheap and we’ll retweet the most popular!” not only does this create create consumer interaction it also means followers of the people who tweeted you will see ‘#TravelForCheap’ and will be likely to find out the source – ultimately gaining you more potential consumers.
Search engines have evolved to take into account the impact your social media accounts are having online. The more socially shared/liked/mentioned your website is, the more likely it is to move up the search engine results pages. Incorporating social sharing onto your website should be a must by now and if you haven’t done so already a news/blog section on your website is a great idea to allow your latest news stories to get shared online.
The only real cost involved in social media is time. Many larger organizations have a dedicated social media assistant so focus purely on updating their statuses and ensuring their latest news is on the web for all to see. Of course, smaller business cannot afford this luxury however taking a few ten minute breaks a day to keep your audience updated with the latest news could prove a profitable move in the long term.
In the last three or so years we have seen the number of social media platforms explode and this is great news for us. It allows businesses to pick and choose which platform(s) to exploit. Image-based platforms have seen a huge increase in recent years with the popularity of Pinterest and Instagram and great online tools now allow you to post to many accounts at once, meaning you save time and reach a wider audience.
Due to the amount of platforms at your disposal and cost effectiveness, social media is a must for any business looking to be successful online.