We cannot deny we are currently living the revolution of Social Media, a breakthrough event that is present in most aspects of our lives. And somehow, there are still companies who try to avoid any involvement because they consider Social Media it is not useful for their business purposes. Whether they have a Social Media page or not is only their own business decision that must be respected, however in most cases those negative feelings are caused only by a lack of knowledge on Social Media and its implications.
According to Wikipedia, Social Media includes web- and mobile-based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals. However I like to use a more simple approach and define it as
any Internet based community where members interact with each other around a set of topics based on common or similar interests.
This means not only Facebook and Twitter are considered Social Media, but also: Linkedin, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, FourSquare, blogs, etc… The range of options to choose from is large, and the list of benefits unlimited. However to keep this post simple, here is a list of 10 tips that will assist those hesitant companies to implement an effective digital strategy using Social Media.
Benefits of using Social Media for businesses
- Great way to improve your SEO. As I already mentioned on my post “7 Tips to enhance your SEO“, inbound links is one of the best ways to improve your SEO rankings. Each time you post on a Social Media platform something that links to your site, this counts as an inbound link, but…if your friends share your post into their walls, then you are having another inbound link for each of them. Keep the ball rolling and in a short period you could have a large amount of links that will certainly help with your SEO rankings.
- Drive traffic to your site. Regardless of the usefulness of inbound links, Social Media is also a great way of driving traffic to your site. In the previous example, if your friends are not sharing your post, they are not providing inbound links, however if your post is open to all public, then you may still get a lot of visitors to your website.
- Increase brand awareness. If your followers like or comment on your posts, then their friends will also be notified about your post – even if the do not follow you yet. Not only they will see the post, but also image, names or other items associated to it. Isn’t it a great way to increase your brand awareness at a very low cost?
- Viral capacity. All these previous examples, can be described in a simple term: Virality, which is a post capacity to spread quickly across the Internet, arriving to people that is not connected directly to you. This helps in finding new prospects that may not be aware of your existence.
- Real time communication tool. Social Media also provides a great way to communicate with your clients (current or potential) by giving you the capacity to segment your audience and deliver specific messages that may be relevant to each group.
- Increase engagement Whilst with traditional media and communication channels, your audience simply “receives” the message, with Social Media they can also contribute to the communication, which in turn will make them feel they can contribute to the business in some way. This translates into a higher level of engagement.
- Market research A more engaged audience will make more comments and participate more actively in each of your posts. As a consequence, you may receive quality feedback which will provide valuable tips about where you should drive your business in order to keep your current clients happy and find new ones.
- Complement of your site: Social Media is also a great way to extend your website functions by providing new functions. For example, adidas’ YouTube channel allocates a range of educational and promotional videos that otherwise may be missed by people not visiting their site. Having a blog is also a great way of providing additional information and news without the need of updating your website too regularly.
- Show your “human” side. Whilst your website should contain only real facts about you and your company, Social Media gives you the ability to include the “People” aspect required in your Extended Marketing Mix, thus: you (and your company) are also people and thus have feelings, preferences, favourites, etc… For example, you could create further engagement by making comments about an incoming football match, even if you are not in the sports industry.
- Everyone else is doing it! It may sound too silly, but let’s face it: if you are not doing it, your potential customers may think you are trying to hide something, or not being totally focused on the digital channel. Either way, they may prefer to go and use someone else’s site.
There are hundreds of other reasons to use Social Media in your Digital Marketing Strategy, which ones do you consider important?