Businesses are beginning to understand the benefits of using social networking to attract and retain customers. At first, many businesses steered clear of engaging in a conversation with the public. That wasn't how things were done in the past, so they declined to get involved. When they began to see that their competitors were receiving many advantages because of the social networking efforts, they quickly followed suit.
Now just about every business on Earth can be found on a social network. They are communicating with their prospects and current clients. They're updating their statuses and generally acting like they're a part of humanity. For some people, interacting with businesses on social media gives them a chance to experience first hand how that company deals with the public.
More and more people are becoming accustomed to receiving customer support though a social network. The barriers for contact have been lowered significantly. For companies that are willing to shoulder the load, this new medium represents a chance to stay in touch with clients and update them constantly about companies news. This represents an unprecedented opportunity for companies who are willing to add value and engage with clients.
A Conversation With Clients Makes Your Service Better
It's no secret that excellent businesses rely on feedback to make their products and services better. Who better than current and potential customers to let you know what they think of your offering? Social media is a great way to collect feedback and that's how a lot of companies are using it. Sure, some organizations make a positive ROI on their social media marketing efforts, but other companies are not so lucky. They use social networking in a manner that extends their word of mouth advertising and helps them perfect their products. Social media is largely about listening, so companies that learn to listen well for feedback tend to incorporate that feedback in their service which helps them win the hearts and minds of the public.
The benefits of social networking websites can't always be felt initially. In fact, performing social media marketing functions is time-consuming and very hard work! It's not easy to constantly update content and monitor all of the many social networks that are out there. Tired business owners might be tempted to forget all about it. This is a big mistake, because despite the effort, the rewards are worth it. Besides, the alternative of not having a social media presence at all is ludicrous.
Social networking websites have the following benefits for businesses:
- Social networking is a low cost way for businesses to stay in touch with clients.
- Social networking is an easy and affordable way for businesses to canvas for new clients.
- Social networking updates help people learn about your company and its products.
- Businesses that do social media marketing have more awareness of what's going on in their industry and are better prepared to serve clients.
- Business that consistently provide excellent service using social media will stand out from the competition.
If your competitors have already embraced social networking, then you've already fallen behind.
Your potential clients have come to expect this additional layer of service and if you don't provide it to them, someone else will. Besides, running away from social media marketing is like someone arguing the earth is flat. It's just not done anymore! Social networking has become too important a part of people's lives that ignoring this venue can only cause harm.
Google+ Is Open For Business
I recommend you start your Google+ Page for your business, if you haven't already. It only takes a few seconds. Google Plus is the new social network from Google and Google+ Pages for business are their equivalent of the Facebook fan page. Google+ pages have the additional benefit that they are displayed prominently to people who +1 your page. Please check out this video I made that shows you exactly what I'm referring to.
Google is likely to give Google+ Pages an elevated ranking in the search engines. Not only that, personalized search and social recommendations will help you improve your overall reputation with that search engine and with people. Google has been moving towards a system that includes 'real world' credibility and it's easier than ever for them to test the perceived quality of a web page, just by gauging how internet visitors react to it.
Using social networks as a way to drive targeted traffic to your business website can't be overlooked. Not only that, but social media reputation influences search engine traffic, which is another hugely important source of new visitors. For companies that are looking to expand their services to a wider market, social networking represents one of the best ways to do it.
The benefits of social networking websites for businesses outweighs any negatives. Organizations used to worry that if they participated on social networks that they would be 'trolled' by competition or unhappy former customers. The reality is that will happen whether they participate or not. Being there to tell your side of the story might be what makes the difference in repairing a damaged reputation online. At the very least, it signals the company's intentions to be receptive to feedback so they can offer an excellent service.
Ignoring bad feedback is likely to cause real issues. Social media 'reviews' tend to be seen by many people and can be shared just like good news. If a company isn't careful, bad news might travel very fast. If customers feel like they aren't being heard, they may tend to speak more loudly! If experienced customer relationship managers step in, it's possible the situation can be resolved. This is one of the reasons a company should be monitoring social media for any mentions of their business. If they run into an issue, they can quickly sort it out. Social networking websites can be used very effectively for managing client relationships and avoiding negative public battles with outraged clients.