The rise of social media over the past decade has been astounding. With Facebook approaching its 10th birthday and holding more influence than ever, social media signals have become very important for companies worldwide. It seems that if you are not taking your business online, you are losing a number of profitable opportunities and devaluing customer communication.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+ are a great way of creating a two-way stream of communication between you and your customers. By talking to them rather than at them, they can feel as though their opinions are valued and they can have an input into the goings on of your business. These platforms are great for spreading word-of-mouth. Posts that go viral have the ability to increase your reach to lengths you never would have thought possible, creating millions of impressions worldwide.
Creating a Google Plus account can help you to network with others in your industry, allowing you to add them to your circles and have them add you in return. Building such networks helps to get your information out into the online space, bringing you closer to those who you wish to connect with. Creating a Google+ page for your company can also help bring more exposure to it, as social signals can help with increasing inbound links.
When it comes to SEO, authoring your Google Plus page can be a great way of increasing the credibility of your posts. Credibility and authenticity can help get your content ranking higher in Google’s search results, meaning people are more likely to come across it. Creating great content will mean nothing if no one can see it. In addition, linking your article to your Google Plus profile helps Google to recognise it as a trustworthy source.
Another clear benefit of social media use is its ‘share’ function. Online sharing is the new word-of-mouth – the golden advertising tool that is credible, valuable and, of course, free. By sharing the content you post, your clients, customers and fans are re-distributing your valuable information and greatly enhancing your reach. If one person shares your post with their entire friends list, that is an added reach of around 200-300 people that you would have otherwise never known exist. But more to the point, they would have never known that you exist either.
Gaining leads and converting them into loyal customers is another way social media can be utilised. With the colossal growth of the online space over the past few years, using this method to reach new customers, whilst maintaining relations with current customers, is one of the best ways to expand your business and increase brand awareness.
However, utilising social media does leave you open to negative feedback, which can be posted on your page. Of course, ensuring that you respond in a calm and clear manner, and try to resolve the issue as best you can, will help to build back positive connotations with your business and demonstrate the effectiveness of your customer service.