Social media is making its mark on the world in many areas. Since the introduction of Facebook and Twitter, businesses have found numerous uses for these tools. Social media websites have served in public relations, marketing and sales roles, along with playing an increasingly large part in customer service. Tools that initially served to connect friends have now evolved into incredible business opportunities.
Not only can you share profiles and pictures with friends, but you can also share product promotions, discounts and information about new product launches. Companies may also use the forum to resolve issues with customers and to help them build their brand image. Facebook and Twitter have found numerous uses for social media websites that are affordable, efficient and productive.
Here are a few ways companies may decide to use Facebook and Twitter to enhance their businesses.
Product promotion is essential for all marketing campaigns. Facebook allows companies to advertise their products or services to customers that are already interested in them. If a customer Likes your page, this means that they are probably interested in what you are promoting. When companies focus their advertising dollars on clients that have expressed an interest what they offer, they are more likely to make a sale.
Billboards and television advertisements are more expensive and reach more people, but they do not reach a large group of people that the company knows is interested. This is why product promotion through Facebook and Twitter has become so popular it allows companies to hone their marketing campaigns and direct them towards their target markets.
For instance, Zappos.com is an online shoe store that promotes its products by offering discounts and promotions through Twitter. Consequently, their Twitter following is nearing two million. They advertise to these customers primarily to focus their marketing budget on people that they know support their product. This ultimately saves the company money by targeting the demographic that enjoys their product the most.
Based upon the information companies gather about their customers on Facebook and Twitter, they can determine the type of customer that typically buys their product. This will help them develop a more effective marketing strategy. They may also use forums to build focus groups to improve their company’s business practices, products and services. Music artists, politicians, actors and actresses also use the forum to promote their trade or cause.
Many companies are using social media platforms to resolve issues with customers. Companies have web crawlers that look for content about them on Facebook and Twitter. They will then respond to positive or negative comments quickly to add a human element to their online campaign when a business responds to someone either publicly or in a direct message, that person feels important and respected, enhancing their opinion of the company.
Additionally, the faster companies respond to problems, the better the company’s brand image becomes. Customers value prompt and reasonable responses to customer service issues. If the company responds immediately and does nothing to alleviate the problem in a timely manner, it definitely reflects negatively on the company.
Because of the power of Facebook and Twitter, customers may influence their network of friends to withdraw their support from the company. Many companies have experienced the negative publicity that may come from an irate customer on social networks. Sometimes, a customer can influence thousands of people and create a downward spiral of support for that business.
Companies do not want to lose a significant portion of their businesses because they neglected to make a phone call or send a tweet or message to a customer. For this reason, many companies have hired people that are dedicated to reading Tweets and Facebook messages from customers. They respond immediately to improve their brand image and show people that they actually care about what they have to say. This is a form of social customer relationship management (CRM).
How Companies Can Increase Customer Awareness through Facebook and Twitter
Companies can improve their relationship with their customers and increase their chances of closing a sale by performing the following:
Create Fresh and Relevant Content. The content on the company’s Facebook or Twitter page needs to be relevant and original. The content should not only market the product, but should educate the consumer about the industry so that the customer understands why they need the product or service. When customers are compelled to buy the product, because they are sold on the concept, they will be more likely to come back to you in the future. A big part of business is getting that first sale; once the door is open, you have a much higher chance to bring in more business down the road. Webinars, podcasts and videos are also great tools that can be used to convey the message.
Give Your Company Exposure. Relevant content on Facebook and Twitter keeps customers informed of your latest products and services. Additionally, companies are exposed to new customers when they’re discussed by word of mouth, a form of viral marketing. Companies will ultimately increase their bottom line when they expose themselves to more potential customers through Facebook, Twitter, word-of-mouth marketing and other social media platforms.
Facebook and Twitter are instrumental tools for businesses. Many have increased their revenue and exposure through the use of social media and social networking tools, and as nearly all facets of the business world have joined, it is essential to establish a solid foundation to set yourself apart from competitors. Both start-up and established companies have made use of this opportunity, and it has improved the company’s revenue.
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Sangeeta Kumar is the Vice President of Web Marketing for GMR Web Team, a global online marketing, strategy, development and maintenance agency. Sangeeta is a jack-of-all-trades kinda person in the world of Internet marketing, excelling in market research to come up with a strategy based on the latest trends to get a website on page 1. She knows her stuff and enjoys a good discussion on SEO anywhere, anytime.Google +