By Tara Dulake
Besides promoting and protecting your brand’s reputation, there are a host of reasons why you should bother, says Tara Dulake.
Sixty per cent of Instagram users say that they discover new products on the platform, so to say that no-one connects with a brand they don’t know is not true. Nearly half of the world’s population is on one social media channel or another. Social media platforms offer you the chance to increase the awareness of your brand and get new customers talking about you.
2 Get established as a thought leader
As an expert in your field, you should be promoting who you are and what you can offer. If you have the expertise within a local area, you want to be promoting that, rather than having online generic estate agents come in and take your customers. Make your social media channel the go-to source for information on topics related to your niche.
3 Build your online authority for search engine optimisation
It is becoming more apparent that the number of links from social media posts and brand mentions on social channels is becoming an important part of search engine optimisation. The more brand mentions and links to your website, the higher in search engines for keyword terms you might find yourself.
4 Customer service, support and reputation management
When something goes wrong and a customer has been given bad service from a company, they are quite often found telling the world about it on social media. Whilst this might not be a service you want to offer, at least by responding to complaints and comments, you are being shown to provide a good level of customer service. This won’t always then create a negative view with new potential customers, as they can see you are dealing with customer issues, rather than ignoring them.
Because social media allows you to connect with customers, you can use social media to conduct marketing research of your own.
5 Get new ideas
There is so much content on the web – video, photography, articles and infographics – that there is a lot to share and gain inspiration from. Social media can help you find the top trending topics and interests within a specific location or area, all of which can be useful for your target market.
6 Stay on top of industry news
In the online world, things move fast –and you can’t afford to be left behind. If you are able to manage your social channels and use social listening tools, you’ll find yourself more up to date with what is happening within your industry, local area, and within the world.
7 Learn about your customers
Social media platforms offer data and information about your customers. With everyone inputting their personal information such as where they live, date of birth, interests etc, and with social platforms tracking activity and search terms, there is a whole host of information you can gather about your audience that can then be used to help develop a content strategy.
8 Connect with customers
Perhaps the most important thing social media can do for a business is to give owners the opportunity to engage customers in a whole new way. Social media allows you to get personal with your customers, and form a bond of trust with them.
9 A great addition to your PR strategy
Press releases are an important part of any marketing strategy, especially when you are launching a new product, moving into new areas and launching a new estate agency or making a change to your top-level staff members. Twitter and LinkedIn are great platforms to help promote your press releases and promote any coverage you might get.
10 Increase leads
Interacting with customers and engaging with them illustrates the interest in their experience. Good customer service can often translate into further sales. 20 – 50% of purchase decisions have been known to come from word of mouth.
11 Market research
Because social media allows you to connect with customers, you can use social media to conduct marketing research of your own. Use polls and online survey tools to ask customers to provide feedback. You can also ask them to provide reviews about your products or services.
12 Analyse the competition
You can see what your competitors are doing, which can be helpful in planning your own marketing strategy.
Making the decision to be on social media platforms is not something to take lightly. Make sure that the platforms you choose are managed well and regularly. You will then see some of the above benefits come through.
By Tara Dulake
Tara Dulake, Digital Marketing Director