Why Engage in Social Media For Business?

using social platforms for business

Why engage in social media?

The Social Media platforms are arguably a few of the best innovations that came out of the Internet age. These networks are now so deeply ingrained in people’s lives that you would be hard-pressed to find a person who doesn’t have an online social presence somewhere. In fact, according to a recent report by social monitoring service Reppler, recruiters are now screening potential job candidates through their social networking profiles – a prospective employee with an active social profile is deemed to be more socially healthy than one who is absent from online social circles.

Why Go Social?

Aside from being able to connect and interact with people from all over the globe, a profile on a social platform is considered as a subtle sign of trustworthiness – a fact that has been leveraged not only by employers in their hiring processes, but also by start-ups, commercial enterprises, online stores and other types of businesses in their marketing runs. In this light, social media marketing is currently trending as a highly lucrative and booming industry.

So, why do more and more marketers (more than ninety percent, according to a survey by the Software & Information Industry Association) use social platforms for lead generation, and ultimately, sales conversions? Here are some of the best reasons:

1. Increased visibility and awareness

Compared to traditional marketing tools such as flyers, television commercials and other forms of printed advertisements, marketing campaigns that operate on social platforms have the potential to reach out to a much bigger audience.

2. Faster results

The results of a social media marketing campaign are instantaneous. All it takes is just one click of a button to generate a piece of content or an ad that can be viewed almost in real time by (potentially) millions of people. Also, analytics tools such as the Social Metrics Pro WordPress plug-in can make results a cinch to measure.

3. More efficient brand development

A great thing about social platforms is that, unlike traditional advertisements, it gives businesses the ability to engage with their customers. The whole communication and engagement process in social platforms is two-way, which means that the possibilities of being able to create a stronger brand is unlimited in scope.

4. Being able to connect with customers on a deeper and personal level

Starbucks has been filling their official Facebook page with pictures that show the company’s other advocacies. From photos of staff and their families participating in charity events, to behind-the-scenes shots of store operations, plus candid portraits of personnel – everything gives the company a more human (and therefore, more personal) air that can differentiate it from other coffee shop chains.

Photos of Starbucks’ interaction with the community

Top Three Social Platforms For Businesses

1. Facebook

The granddaddy of all social networks deserves to be on top of this list, hands down. Boasting an active user base of over 950 million in 2012, this phenomenon of a social networking site is the number one go-to platform for marketers. New features like the innovative timeline layout and cover photo have provided businesses with more creative marketing options. And since Facebook is now deeply ingrained in most people’s lives, with over 250 million users checking in on a daily basis, social media marketing has never become more exciting.

Creative use of Facebook’s timeline cover.

2. Twitter

A simple microblogging concept that was initially populated by computer geeks, Twitter is now being used by over 500 million people all over the world. From your neighborhood convenience store, to the top celebrities in Hollywood, persons of all ages, cultures and status are tweeting about events, updates, news and other tweet-worthy topics non-stop. Twitter was a pioneer in the social networking world, allowing users to follow famous personalities and companies, thereby giving them the platform with which to communicate and form trends of their own. The movie “The Dark Knight Rises” ran an exciting promotional campaign that kept fans on their toes about the identity of the main villain, while food chain Wendy’s came up with @GirlBehindSix, an innovative tweet-based game show.

3. Google+

In June 2011, the ubiquitous Google came up with a social networking site of their own. Usually referred to as Google+ (pronounced as Google plus), the site was viewed as a strong and viable threat to Facebook’s dominant position in the social networking world. Although it only has 250 million users at the moment (a far cry from Facebook’s 950 million or Twitter’s 500 million), the number is steadily growing. Marketers are attracted to its group features like Circles and Hangouts (where they can interact and communicate with customers directly), and the easy integration with well-known Google services such as Gmail, YouTube and Google Search (specifically, the ability to verify authorship of a piece of content).

Google+’s Hangouts

Social Platforms – The Conclusion

These famous social platforms differ a lot from one another and have their own set of advantages for marketers. Facebook benefits from the sheer number of users it has, while Twitter is easy to use and has a very active user base. Studies made in the midst of the Google Penguin algorithm update (an update that spotlighted the role that social signals play in Google search rankings), have shown that Google+ signals have a huge impact on a website’s ranking performance in Google searches. The best strategy here is to be able to focus networking efforts into not just one, but on a whole range of social platforms. There are a number of plug-ins which a person can use to integrate social sharing buttons on his or her website. These tools will help users easily share content with their friends on the social platforms of their choice.

Go back to Social Media Marketing for Web 3.0 series.

About Daniel Tan

Daniel Tan: A veteran Internet Marketer. Founder of SomoThemes, Social Metrics Pro, SEOPressor and XTabApps. Daniel's focus is to simplify marketing with technology, to help marketers reach more people in an organized and effective way.

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