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Published 26 June 2015

Becci Cook

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Why Do Businesses Need to Use Social Media?

Social Media is an extremely effective marketing tool. Regardless of whether or not you use it much in your personal life, it is now highly recommended for professionals and businesses to implement into their company strategy. Not only is Social Media an ideal platform for advertising and proven to help generate new leads, it is also valuable for maintaining successful relationships with existing customers if executed well.

Social Media isn’t going anywhere and businesses now realize that if they wish to reach their prospects and customers, their online presence in social media is a foundation of their overall marketing strategy.

Having an online presence is vital in this Digital Age. You don’t need to be particularly technology-savvy to get to grips with using Social Media, however, it does help to have already established your aims and objectives so that it benefits your company and isn’t a wasted or unused resource.

There is a common misconception that just having Social Media accounts set up is enough and that they do the work by themselves. This isn’t the case, effective Social Media Marketing requires knowledge, skill, patience and determination as well as a desired professional etiquette to be taken seriously. It is a lot cheaper than traditional marketing and advertising methods, therefore it’s ideal for companies with tight budgets. Promoted content and paid advertisements are excellent and provide measurable results, similar to the way Google Analytics operates, which enables you to learn about your audiences and target them better. Ads also help to expand your reach to obtain a bigger company following and gain more page likes.

59% of the UK population have active social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are the most commonly used platforms, followed by Pinterest and Instagram, the list goes on. Some will be useful for your business, whereas others won’t be necessary. It is far better to have fewer accounts providing quality rich content than to have too many set up that get neglected and don’t engage with their users.

As Social networking is the most popular online activity it has the capacity to increase traffic to your website, which for most modern companies is their biggest selling platform. Using Social Media boosts your online visibility, credibility and overall page rank, vital for growing your customer base. Social Media is free to use, followers can unfollow at any time and aren’t obliged to stay as if often the case with paid memberships and subscriptions. It is therefore important to be providing useful, relevant information and not just selling your products or services. That is in fact where several businesses fail and give up using Social Media because they feel they aren’t selling quickly enough. Consumers are talking online, Social Media enables you to listen to them. Customers like to be heard and to voice their opinions, whether providing positive or negative feedback, you need to be prepared to deal with that.

It is ideal to designate either one person or a small team to manage your Social Media accounts, depending on the size of the business. It may be that you don’t have the time or the ‘know-how’ to master it yourself. It is very time consuming and not just a 5-minute job. Outsourcing a professional is something you should consider even if just for initial setup and guidance.

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