Social Media – Is it Right for Your Business?

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Social Media – Is it Right for Your Business?

Social Media is certainly an important part of the online landscape.  But even with the millions and millions of people and businesses that engage daily through Social Media, I still hear from many business owners that they don’t need any type of social media for their business.  As someone who provides Social Media services for lots of different businesses, I am going to say something most of my peers would never say.  There are business that exist that don’t need any type of social media for their business.  But let me add the caveat, that the number of those businesses is very, very small.

 

Is it Right for You?

Essentially, if your business has no need for any type of online presence as part of its attraction of new customers, customer service, employee recruitment, or industry knowledge gathering, then you don’t need any type of social media presence.  Alternatively, if  any of the aforementioned can or do take place for your business online, then you definitely need social media for your business.  For many, we can easily understand the importance and implications of engaging via the multitude of social media channels that are available in today’s social media landscape.  For most, they see social media as simply a way to promote their own business and hopefully get customers in the door!  While this is certainly a significant aspect of social media for business, it is by far and away not the only aspect of social media that business should consider.

 

Website Traffic and SEO

It is still surprising today the number of business that have a website, but don’t take into account how people are going to actually get to their website.  Engaging in Social Media not only has the possible benefit of connecting with people to discuss your products or services to help increase traffic to your website, it also has the additional benefit of being an integral part of telling Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) about the products or services you provide.  If we look at what search engines do and how they do it, we can easily get an understanding of how Social Media can impact the Search Engine Optimization of our business website. Why do search engines exist, to help us find what we are looking for.  How do they determine what websites actually are or have what we are looking for, by placing those websites that not only have the content the matches what we are looking for, but are also promoted by other websites saying that website’s content is what we are looking.  Historically this was done by website linking to other websites because their was little or no social media at that time, so the only way to verify that something was what it said it was was by other respectable website saying that was the case.  Nowadays, we don’t use links, we use social media to say what we like, respect, or think is of value.  With this being the case, more and more weight and validity is being given to impact of social media in how the Search Engines determine which websites show up when you search for something.

 

Industry Trends

Another significant benefit to business who engage in social media is the ability to be kept abreast, inform, or possible influence, the trends within their industry.  Discussing with and learning from industry peers has always been part of business success.  Historically it was only available to those who could afford to attend industry trade shows, join exclusive industry memberships, attend workshops or continuing education seminars, etc..  With the increasing ease of use of the Internet, many of the trade shows, memberships, or classes are now either being promoted online or can actually take place online.  Not to mention, many of the information needed to be kept informed of industry trends is freely available to most industries.  All of this information could be gathered by periodically doing extensive searches online, but is much more effective to simply engage your industry peers socially and gather the information you need more easily and more timely.

 

Customers

The big opportunity that most business see with social media is getting customers.  However, if getting customers is your only goal, then you run the risk of having an ineffective social media campaign and ultimately not getting any customers at all or driving some of your current customers away from your business. By simply joining Facebook or Twitter and then only talking about your product or service repeatedly, just like shoe salesman walking up to everyone at a party and only talking about the shoes they are selling, you will annoy more people than you will sell anything.  What business need to do is look at social media as a way to engage with customers.   This can be done by making everyone aware of who or what your business is as well as being open to any questions or concerns anyone may have.  You will also find that by figuratively opening your doors by engaging in social media, you will not only possible attract new customers, but the customers you do attract have a higher likelihood of having a positive view of your products or services and you will can have a stronger base of current customers that will be more loyal to your business.

 

Is Your Business Right for Social Media

In conclusion, there are very few business that are not right for social media and for those business that can benefit from social media, the benefits are more than just getting customers.  The real test for your business is not whether or not to use social media, but rather how to use social media to help your business.

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