For businesses that want to connect with their clientele through clever media usage, social networking websites are a fantastic way to enhance the efficiency of content; with print advertising and direct mail nowhere near as popular or efficient as they once were, turning to the Internet is a great way of targeting new and existing customers. As browsing habits can be determined by age, gender and interests –plus plenty more besides – social networks are incredibly useful tools for business.
So how do you make a social network work for you? Well, if you do have social media pages running, you need to make sure people know about them and that they are updated frequently. You will generate hype about your Facebook and Twitter pages (as well as any additional networks you are joining soon) in the monthly newsletter you email to customers. This will result in stronger connections with your most loyal customers, and an online buzz that will attract new interest. So, when highlighting social media in your newsletter, what should you be doing?
For starters, you should dedicate a section to allow subscribers to have their say: a place for their messages to be heard and published. The amount of space in your newsletter you dedicate to this is up to you. Just publishing a few messages from Twitter, or re-tweeting something you received from one of your followers, will give your media efforts that extra dimension of interactivity. If someone knows that they are able to make contributions and that they will be heard, it is likelier they’ll be inspired to get in touch.
Social network software is also a fantastic investment of your time if you want to run a promotion or another marketing scheme. Notifying your readers through your periodical or an auto-responder message will raise your business’s profile in their public awareness. Also, if the promotion offers something in demand among your client base, the traffic to your website and subsequent conversion rates you experience will hopefully be very promising.
The facilities on websites like Facebook encourage communication through different approaches. In some respects, social networking is doubling up as an additional arm to the public relations and customer service divisions you may already have in your business.
Discussion boards and forums will allow members of your pages to ask and answer questions that surround your products or services. An even better idea could be to get a social media representative to monitor the activity on your pages for you. This ensures any prominent issues raised on your social networking website will be resolved swiftly by someone in your workforce.
A great way to establish a bond with your customers, as well as a brand, is to use social networking to show clients what goes on behind the scenes. The understanding of how your operation works also shows how the product or service they buy is brought to retail. In more cases than not, this will allow users of a page to appreciate how hard you work to help them, which in turn will raise your credibility.
Business opportunities are never far away when a social network is involved. Even though some services are intended for personal use, another entrepreneur or executive in a company who sees your pages might be inspired to get in touch. After that, further discussions could result in that lucrative deal that you and your team had been striving for.
Creating your own social network website also means that boundaries and limits set by existing pages will be removed. Sometimes, branding is far stronger when all of the websites across your output have the same design and colour scheme. A social media presence is adaptable to your specifications because it results in a person’s association of a certain look and feel with your business: the perfect outcome.
Dependent on which sector you are in, the social network you establish could be the service you offer instead of something ancillary. In these cases, you need to try and plan how sustainable income streams will be gained from the website created. Thinking about the different approaches and their flexibility is worthwhile. For example: could you establish a membership service where users have to pay a set fee in order to gain access? Is advertising a viable option and if so, which online methods would be the most profitable and feasible to use?
When deciding how a social network will be able to enhance the accessibility of your product to customers, planning is essential. These days, it is all about unique selling points and standing out from the crowd. This new form of media is becoming an essential addition to the marketing strategies of businesses in every industry, so you want careful thought to go into your service so it is popular and more resourceful than alternatives from your rivals.
Of course, businesses aren’t the only entities which benefit from social media. Charitable organisations and voluntary establishments also need a place to compile their ideas, discussions and communities. It is too easy for meetings by charities to be intermittent because of the difficulties in getting everyone together at once. However, getting all of the members in a committee to bring ideas to a website means that productivity is at the convenience of the volunteer, and this is the great advantage of the humble social network. If a website should need to be the hub for progress, it needs to be accessible.
Whatever the purpose, social media is a revolution which is making businesses and charities do far more for their customers.
We live in a 24-hour society where we are hungry for information at a times that suit us. Creating a network for your customers will boost their knowledge of who you are, making them familiar with products they didn’t know you offered. In consequence, they will come to you for such goods in the future, while recommending you to friends in the process. If this doesn’t make social media important and worthwhile, then what does?