It was February 2004 in Cambridge, Massachusetts when Mark Zuckerberg and a handful of Harvard collegiate students founded the social media conglomerate that is Facebook, under the visionary premise to make the world a more open and connected place. With an estimated 2.7 billion users or roughly one-third of the general populace, it would seem that for the most part, Facebook Inc. has succeeded in its original mission statement. This, of course, is also exemplified in the way that it has completely revolutionized the way that we socially interact with one another, and on a global scale at that, while at the same time leading the way for other similar organizations such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other such companies to follow in its wake. Its effect can even be seen in the way that it has also had an impact on language, in and of itself, with emojis, meme’s, gif’s, and other forms of visual contexts becoming a commonplace way of expressing ourselves. However, arguably one of the most overlooked aspects in the ways that these social media platforms can be leveraged, is in the significant role they play in start ups and other businesses in today’s day and age, and this article will review why it is of vital importance to have a strong social media presence.
One of the most cliched idioms or expressions to describe the workplace is that of a fast-paced environment that is constantly changing, or something to that extent. Ostensibly, it would seem that in this way, that the entity that is a business seemingly evolves in an idiosyncratic manner alongside ourselves. With that being kept into consideration, businesses have had to adapt to the fact that users spend over 950 million hours on Facebook each week, which implies that the average user spends about twenty-seven to forty-three minutes on Facebook and other social media sites every day. Also, as is typical with any new and trending technology, many other industries or jobs are either created or replaced in its wake. In terms of social media, we can observe this fact in the emergence of influential internet personalities such as Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMeida, and Tai Lopez, both of whom not only manage their own social media networking agencies, but mentor and promote social media management as arguably one of the most fail-proof businesses to set into motion, emphasizing how crucial it is for businesses to have a strong social media presence. Below is a list of reasons why social media marketing is essential to any business.
Branding. It is one of the more rudimentary conceptualizations to a business model, the importance of which is stressed in any 101 Intro to Business course. So much of what we process is visual, with recent studies suggesting that the visual learning style is the most prominent followed by kinesthetic or hands-on learning. Branding plays a large part of this in our consumer-based society, in which it is estimated that the average person is subjected to over three-thousand advertisements on a daily basis. Now, take a second to muse over any successful business, and more times than not, it is not the product or particular service that comes to mind, but in most cases, it is that of the companies logo or insignia; that apple with a bite taken out of it, the lower case b on the sides of a pair of headphones, or the little check mark swoop on the back of a pair of shoes, or even a mermaid-like figure on the side of a cup that adds to the overall price or value of the product in question. These branding tactics provide the customer with a sense of security that they a receiving a quality product from a reliable company that they can trust. With that being kept into consideration, a strong social media presence is crucial for any business for three main reasons. First, and perhaps the most important of which, is the fact that it helps build brand awareness. In short, taking the time out to utilize social media in all its various mediums is to essentially assert one’s business into a global market, and with greater awareness comes the potentiality for more clients or customers. Not only does building a strong social media platform increase the brands awareness, but it also carries the capacity to optimize both brand loyalty, as well as brand authority. It has been carefully observed that when companies engage with their customers, providing them with a positive experience on their social platforms, that it increases the likelihood that customers will develop a closer bond with that brand in particular, and in so doing they will promote it to their friends, all of which asserts a company as an authoritative figure in its respective industry. On that note, the issue of the customer in specific leads to the next reason that it is of the utmost importance for a business to strengthen its social media appearance; the customer.
- The Customer:
The customer is always right. Let’s face it, at its very core, customers are conceivably the single most important aspect of any respective business; without the customer, any business would be reduced to nil. With all notions of game theory or synergy aside, it is mutually beneficial to come up with innovative ideas to improve business-customer relations, and as in any type of partnership, to develop means to appeal to the individual relationship. After all, to a varying degree, all life is relationships or connectivity. When maximized correctly, a company’s social media persona can potentially do four things in terms of customer relations. The most painstakingly obvious of which is that it provides the organization with a means to engage with its buyer on a more personal level, and in doing so, demonstrating a sense of authenticity that may or may not have otherwise been previously present. This extremely substantial component of social media marketing naturally lends itself to the three other aspects that can help customer relations. As a direct consequence of this engagement with the customer, comes with better or more improved customer satisfaction. Almost every single one of us can put ourselves in the role of the disillusioned customer; irritated by what is to us a very important phone call, to which we are left to deal with an automated or otherwise very mechanical operator, and this, of course, impedes on the way that we view the business in question. However, in this case, when an outfit takes the time to directly, and personally communicate with the customer, whether it be in the comments section on Facebook, in the messages section, or via any other medium, the consumer is more likely to appreciate that effort, and feel that in taking the time to attend to their needs, that they actually value them. Moreover, this interaction improves customer relationships in its capacity by creating for a more positive or enriching experience, as well as bolstering the customer’s insight into the business. At its best, we see this in the specific example of Gary Vaynerchuk, to whom is well known for quickly responding to any one of his comments, messages, video calls, or any other method of communication on his own social media profile.
At a glance, the pecuniary benefits of a well thought out social media platform are undeniable. For starters, there is the fact that any of these various websites are completely free to utilize, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other of the likes. For the price of next to nothing, social media provides businesses with a means to market, advertise, and promote their services at a significantly reduced cost to the company. In addition, it allows for a cost-effective way to create a persona for the company in question, while at the same time, informing the public about various aspects about the business such as events that will take place within the community. Similarly, this free opportunity generates an outlet that can potentially increase sales revenue. Moreover, it can be used as a means to keep up to date with the competition, to whom are more than likely utilizing these same services and establishing their own online presence. In hindsight, the only potential dilemma can be found in the area of time management. Quite simply, the merchant is usually so encumbered by the high demands required to run their business, that they just don’t have the time to maintain their online presence. Even so, there are many affordable viable solutions to work around this little predicament. Depending on the state of the company in question, one might consider looking into universities, community colleges, or the plethora of associated resources for the purpose of offering an internship to young and enthusiastic individuals who are part of a generation that is for the most part already familiar and knowledgeable with getting the most out of these types of websites. In the case of the small family-owned business, one might also consider taking on one of their younger family members who in the same similitude, as millennials, have already been indoctrinated in the popular culture that surrounds social media. Beyond that scope, for the mere price of taking on an additional employ, one could hire someone to work specifically with managing their online persona for all the monetary advantages that are associated with this growing industry.
- Search Engine Optimizations or SEO’s:
With all the technological advancements in this age of information, it is interesting to note how much is predicated upon the correlation between audience and viewership. It is increasingly becoming a part of our subjective reality, that the best way to gauge or merit the progress or result of a given thing by the number of unique viewers that it receives. This is observable in the ways that certain online writers are paid, not in terms of how many articles they write, or the quality of their writing, but rather, in the amount of traffic they can generate to the piece in question. Streaming websites like Twitch have provided gamers with their ultimate dream, in that there are literally individuals who have made a considerable amount of wealth simply because of the countless number of people watching them play their video games, such as in the case of Pewdiepie, who has made an approximate of four million dollars, simply streaming horror video games to his fans. And this pattern, of course, continues with other more noticeable organizations like YouTube, or Netflix, and other streaming platforms, just to name a few. Now, we’ve all been in the position where we’ve had to, ‘Google it,” as the expression goes, and being part of a society that wants quick results, we never really go beyond the third or fourth page on Google, or other web browser, before we lose interest and give up, and this is where SEO’s come into play. In layman’s terms, SEO’s or Search Engine Optimization can be viewed as specific related, or trending keywords, that ensure your content places higher up in a given web browser. In regard to an individuals’ business, social media marketing is wonderful because, not only does it increase SEO’s, but as a result of this fact, it increases the flow of traffic being directed towards the company, all of which is closely interlinked of course with increasing brand awareness.
Social media networking or marketing is a vital tool to grow any business. For an affordable price, it provides a means to increase brand awareness as well as creating brand loyalty and authority. At the same time, it is a beneficial method for improving customer service, support and relations in its ability to authentically interact and engage with the customer in a way that provides valuable insights into the customer’s needs, leaving them with an appealing and otherwise positive experience, all of which increases customer satisfaction. With a solid platform, one can quickly cut marketing and advertisement costs, which again speak to the many ways in which a social media platform is cost-effective for just about any business. Finally, a strong social media presence increases SEO’s, which means more traffic, and in likewise fashion, the possibility or potential for more sales.