The impact of social media on businesses, both positive and negative, is immense.
Do you agree? 90% of businesses agree to this.
Either you are a startup or a small business, whether you are an online store or an enterprise, social media is vital for your business marketing strategy.
Ambassador says 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. This shows the importance of social media in businesses. In order to maintain a competitive pace, businesses are bound to leverage popular social media platforms.
Social platforms help you connect with your customers, boost brand awareness, and increase your leads and sales. With more than three billion people across the globe using social media, it’s no passing trend.
Why social media is important for business?
Social media has greatly transformed the business landscape. It is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, which provides incredible benefits that help reach millions of customers worldwide.
If you are a CEO or a small business owner, it is very important to know why you need to be on social media and how it is going to affect your business.
There are several questions you must ask yourself before you plan your social media strategy
- What are the channels where my customers are present?
- What are the ways to target my audience on those channels?
- What are my objectives and the RoI of the social media strategy?
So it is evident that how social media can have an immense impact on your business and can be one of the most powerful marketing channels to reach out to your audience.
In a nutshell, social media helps businesses in three key areas;
Brand building – Social media is one of the most profitable digital marketing platforms that boosts your brand visibility among potential customers, allowing you to reach a bigger audience. By applying a social media strategy, you significantly increase your brand recognition.
Omni channel engagement – Research shows, 60% of US millennials expect consistent experiences when dealing with brands online, in-store or by phone. Social media strategies boost user engagement across channels in order to engage customers and deliver better omni channel customer experience.
Business growth – Social interaction between businesses & customers is a growing trend that increases sales and improves brand loyalty. SMM report says, more than 65% of businesses are on social media to increase leads.
So, let’s look into the positive effects of social media for businesses.
Positive effects of social media for business
Social media impact businesses positively and offers an opportunity for your audience to find you on social media. It helps to reach to your targeted audience, stay engaged with them and respond to their queries instantly. It is a great way to evaluate your competition by monitoring their social media pages.
Social media has multiple positive impacts on business in terms of brand recognition, customer engagement, revenue, and customer service. It also is a great tool to evaluate your competitors and how they are using social media for their growth.
Here are 9 positive ways of how social media impact businesses.
#1. Social media adds a new dimension to your omni channel customer service
Today’s customers choose social media as the main source to interact with a brand as they get instant attention. Research says that 42% of consumers expect a response on social media within 60 minutes.
Social media is a powerful channel to engage customers who reach out to you through different social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Whatsapp to deliver a seamless omni channel messaging experience.
Providing omni channel customer service is an important aspect of a business. However, it is even more important to use the right tools, system which can help your business to deliver an omni channel experience across the customer lifecycle.
In order to deliver omni channel customer service, you can use certain tools. One such tool is REVE Chat, which is a multi channel live chat platform that streamlines customer conversations across website, social, mobile and messaging apps to deliver great customer service and increase team productivity.
Social media customer service example – Nike
Nike followed an excellent customer service strategy. It has one of the strongest customer service accounts on Twitter. They feature a dedicated Twitter account, Team Nike, which provides support seven days a week and in seven languages.
When a customer mentions Nike’s main twitter handle, @teamnike responds instantly. This shows how dedicated the brand is to solve their customers’ problems.
- Pay attention to all customer service issues and be kind to them in all scenarios. Passive complaints that are left unaddressed can easily cause a rift between the vendor and the customer.
- Manage your social conversations promptly in order to deliver superior customer service.
- Enhance your customer experience by being available across all the touchpoints that customers prefer to contact you to deliver instant support.
#2. Social media helps to reach out to a bigger audience
Almost 90% of marketers say their social marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business, and 75% say they’ve increased traffic. It an ideal way to create brand awareness and stay in contact with your customers.
Social media platforms are becoming the main source for people to learn more about businesses – latest information about new products, services, advertisements, deals or promotions.
Here are some tips to expose your brand to a broader audience.
- Segment your audience – Prior heading up to the social platforms make sure that your target audience is on the platform or not. It’s not at all wise to blindly follow other brands.
- Make use of visuals – Once you have segmented your audience make use of attractive visuals along with content to grab immediate attention and boost engagement.
- Initiate conversations – Involve yourself into the social platforms not only by listening but also by building great conversations by tagging or mentioning others.
- Measure your efforts – It is very important to measure your social activity by using external tools. Gain insights and channelize your efforts and strengthen your brand image.
The social channels allow share business news and even post related photos or links to stories/studies in their industry. It also builds trust with their customers and showcases themselves to a new demographic of potential clients.
- Identify your target audience, their patterns, behaviors and then choose the right social media channels for your business.
- Social media is a place to forge connections and bring a voice to your brand. Ensure that your tone is consistent, friendly, and suits your business that you are trying to showcase.
- Visual and engaging content is key. To publish relevant, quality content and involve your audience – ask questions, use polls, and host events.
#3. Social media creates word of mouth
Social media does, in fact, help to get the word out about your business. With the arrival of interactive and social media, the patterns, role, and impact of word of mouth have evolved. Due to which new online communities are shaped.
Such changes affected the ways businesses can leverage the power of word of mouth for marketing purposes and, vice versa, the impact of word of mouth on businesses. Research shows that 72% of people see online reviews in the same light as personal recommendations made by friends and family.
Great word of mouth marketing example – Threadless
Threadless is an online community of T-shirt designers and a platform where they assembled to submit and vote on T-shirt designs. The designers were paid 20% in royalties, and either Threadless gift cards or cash.
The members were happy to promote their designs and bring more people to the site by good word of mouth.
- Offer an incentive such as a discount, a free product, an extended service to your customers so that they take their quality time to promote your business.
#4. Social Media Marketing (SMM) is economical
Many businesses are jumping into the Social Media Marketing (SMM) bandwagon as its positive impact on brands and promises profitable success when done properly. Social media marketing techniques target social networks and applications to spread brand awareness.
Social media marketing is perceived as a more targeted type of advertising and therefore it is very effective in creating brand awareness. Social media engagement campaigns produce a lot of shares, generate more views and publicity for your business – all for a one-time cost.
Social media marketing campaigns usually center around:
- Establishing a social media presence on major platforms
- Creating shareable content and advertorials
- Cultivating customer feedback throughout the campaign through surveys and contests
A single person sharing or re-tweeting a message from your company could reach hundreds or even thousands of people for virtually no cost! Businesses that miss out on this with social media strategies that don’t generate engagement are losing a major opportunity.
- If you are a startup or small business social media marketing to promote your business and save the business money.
#5. Social media allows collecting first hand customer feedback
Social media is a potent ingredient of customer feedback cocktail.
Social media platforms allow collecting first-hand feedback from customers to improve brand image, reputation, and relationship with the customer. The customer must feel like they are heard, valued and this makes them happy.
So, respond to every post, comment, suggestion and make the best use of it for your brand development. Businesses that engage with customer service requests via social media earn 20% – 40% more revenue per customer.
This will allow you to showcase just how much you care about providing a memorable experience and will ensure that no customer feedback goes unnoticed. And by monitoring social media for customer feedback and offering a response, you can drive real business results.
- Respond even if the user has not directly tweeted at you or asked for help. When you answer brand mentions or comments it shows you are paying attention.
- Promote your customers by retweeting a happily resolved support interaction. It is like giving your customers a big thank you.
- Give your customer service team a public face. Use a team photo or an agent spotlight. It’s nice to connect the face of the brand with the names behind it.
- Try to follow-up a resolved interaction with, “How is everything?”
#6. Social media improves user engagement
No matter businesses are on social media or not, customers follow their social media accounts every day. With the average person spending just under two hours per day on social media, social media engagement is essential to make sure your brand is capturing enough attention.
Setting up a social media presence, building and engaging them effectively with quality content is a big effort. But the biggest benefit you can glean from your investment in social media is to reach out to your potential customers wherever they can be found across the globe.
Social media engagement is positive as the reputation it generates for your brand but on the other hand, a single negative tweet can bring bad publicity overnight, which is difficult to reverse. Below are a few best practices for engaging users.
- Keep your brand at the top of the newsfeed by posting witty and engaging content regularly.
- Images increase the interaction rates so use images.
- Try being personal with your audience. Make them feel there are real people behind the brand.
#7. Social customer service is the new marketing
Providing stellar customer service is likely already a top priority for every business. But along with the two-way communication that social media provides, it also offers a unique opportunity to step up your customer service game and provide instant gratification to your target audience.
WhatsApp, for example, is the most popular channel for customer service on a global front. The numbers say there are more than 1.5 billion monthly active users, sharing more than 60 billion messages every day, a huge amount of on-platform activity.
WhatsApp Business app, launched by Whatsapp enables business users to “interact with customers easily by using tools to automate, sort, and quickly respond to the messages”.
Hellmen is one of the best examples to show the impact of social media on business
Hellman wanted more Brazilians to cook using their mayonnaise and they thought of an interesting campaign using WhatsApp.
The campaign had the option to connect with a chef through WhatsApp. Once connected with the chef, they only had to click a picture of their fridge and share. Now the chef would plan a recipe out of it and cooked the meal together, staying connected through WhatsApp.
Social media best practices:
- You should be prompt in responding the online reviews. Customers share their positive as well as negative feedback over social media. Respond to your social media comments quickly. You need to respond to them as priority else it will affect your brand image.
#8. Social media can be a driving force of growth tools
Social media offers opportunities for brands to increase conversions due to the interaction that they have with customers. When a brand chooses a proactive social media marketing approach, it will strengthen its marketing strategy.
Hubspot research social media marketing has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. This data proves social media marketing critical for all brands, big or small, and especially those who are trying to increase sales revenue.
Twitter is a good example of this. According to MediaBistro, 67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from brands that they follow. Besides, 42% of consumers learn about the products and services they are interested in through Twitter. This type of outreach cannot be ignored.
- Use targeted social media listening to understand what is happening in your industry.
- Get engaged in social selling (social selling combines the elements of social listening, social media lead generation, and sales practices).
#9. Social media boosts your brand loyalty
“A brand is nothing but an expression of the customer’s loyalty and trust.”
Building and maintaining brand loyalty is one of the central themes of every business. Social media helps you to build relationships with your customers through social media, which increases loyalty and advocacy.
Brand loyalty matters due to the below reasons:
- Resistance in competition – In this competitive market, brand loyalty is hard to come by. Customers have multiple options accessible that can lose them easily. Perception of your brand builds new customers but loyal customers add real value.
- Meaningful engagement – Loyal social media followers are more likely to interact with your posts and create meaningful conversations. Real engagement is more valuable to your online image.
- Brand advocacy – Loyal social media followers are high potential brand advocates. They’re very likely to talk about your brand positively, even without persuasion.
Developing brand loyalty ensures long term engagement over social media. Research shows, 66% of users between the ages of 18 and 24 years old are more loyal to the brands they follow on social media.
- You should create a smart social media strategy that comprises a cohesive plan to keep up with your competition.
- Share good quality content to inspire brand loyalty. Visual content gets easily noticed. So, use infographics, videos, screenshots, graphs, etc. to make content more appealing.
- Ensure that you are not sidelining interactions as followers like humanized interactions, not bots or automated content.
The use of social media platforms to reach more customers, engage with your audience, and build brand awareness are some of the positive impact of social media on business. However, to avoid its negative aspects of social media on your business you can follow the suggested tips and be careful when sharing content over social media.