Social media has developed at such a rate it is now an integral part of businesses the world over. It is a highly powerful marketing tool and one which should be utilised in 2012. However, in order to use social media to your advantage it is important to understand how the various networks function and how their proper use will aid you. Here are the reasons why you should be pursuing social media in your 2012 business plan.
Quantifiable Marketing Techniques
With new developments in social media technology, and especially with Facebook, businesses are able to receive quantifiable data regarding their customer base and the effectiveness of their marketing schemes. When customers “like” a page or a post a business can record the number of “likes” or comments and turn this into hard data. Consequently the data translates into a better understanding of the ROI for the time and effort put into developing a strong social media page. Not only this but it brings results back for areas of improvement as well as areas of success.
Instant Customer Feedback
Possibly one of the best ways that social media can help you boost sales in 2012 is through the availability of instant customer feedback. On pages like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, businesses can make posts and then view customer comments and questions. This will help you increase your sales for 2012 by allowing you to make changes more rapidly and respond to customer concerns effectively. This not only shows the customers that you care about their opinions, but also that you are devoted to producing quality products and services.
Geographically Targeted Information
Social media also enables you to see where your customer base lies, making it easier to track your top sales locations and areas for development. This is a great way to develop targeted marketing plans for specific locations to maximize sales and to find out where marketing could be more effective. You can also see who your clients are in terms of age, gender, and income level to give you a better idea about your demographic data. Social media has made this process much simpler, with many people linking their mobile devices to their social media accounts and constantly being connected online, so your customer base is always readily available.
Sharing Infographic Marketing
Although infographic marketing has long been a popular method of advertising, social media makes this tool much more effective and helps to reach a larger population. For businesses that use Twitter as a social media tool, links to infographics are a great way to share your products and ideas with customers in a small URL. This is also true for Facebook, where links to other sites often include a small accompanying image to catch other users’ attention. Infographics are also a great way to pack a lot of information into a single advertisement, making them much more cost-effective than larger projects.
Build Strong Relationships with Customers
Social media is also a great way to get to know your customer base and to develop lifelong relationships with customers. Communication is key to any successful business venture, and social media marketing and monitoring can help you do that. The best thing to remember about this is the importance of responding to customer concerns as quickly as possible, either by responding directly on the social media platform or by sending additional contact information for more sensitive information. This will ensure that the customers understand your open-door policy and help them feel more comfortable with your business, building a strong relationship that will be reflected in your sales for 2012.
Alex Morris is a writer and researcher for Office Kitten where he keeps an eye on all things business related.