Business owners and executives often ask if social media is really necessary for business development purposes. The answer is an unequivocal “yes”.
Here are eight reasons why you should make social media an integral component of your online marketing mix.
Social media is a powerful brand building tool. Effective use of social media will increase your brand awareness and help creating a positive perception about your business.
Inbound Lead Generation
Target prospects that are active on social media are only one click away from your web site; this qualified traffic can be converted into inbound leads.
Search Engine Optimization
With social search becoming more of a reality and exerting more influence on search engine rankings, active participation in social media is becoming a must for SEO purposes.
Communicating with your customers and providing them with access to support resources is a way to maintain value based relationships with your existing customer base. Also, monitoring social media activity can pre-empt negative sentiment from becoming wide spread.
Connecting with Influencers
You can enhance your reputation by engaging in information exchange with the communities that influence your target prospects.
Expand Reach/Access to New Markets
Social media is a force multiplier, giving you access to audiences beyond your own network; it provides visibility to your network’s network. As an example, if you have 350 LinkedIn connections, you are only one warm introduction away from tens of thousands of contacts.
Social media provides a rich source of market intelligence; likes/dislikes, new product ideas, ways to improve customer service, competitive intelligence, industry trends, etc.
You can get ahead of the innovation curve by incorporating this insight into new product development, unique customer service processes, and redefining industry business models.
Social media is a powerful “word of mouth” resource that leads directly to referral business. Referred or recommended prospects typically result in higher close rates.
Active and consistent engagement in the appropriate social networks can help you grow your business. A social media strategy should therefore be an important part of any online marketing plan and infrastructure.
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