From JD Power’s study, “67% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for servicing, compared with 33% for social marketing”.
Social media picked up pace a few years ago. Initially, to search for something, one had only a few options such as search engines (Google being the most dominant one). With entry of social media people could suggest their friends and customers opinions of a product or a service.
Social media enabled people to connect with the audience on a personal level. Connecting with a person was much easier than a brand. Seeing a person live, in a video or through a blog was definitely more effective than a personal brand
Small sites are at a disadvantage in search engines
If you operate a blog or a small business website, you would be painfully aware that it is not easy to rank on Google these days. Big sites with huge resources at disposal, are well placed to knock your about “hundred pages” site down. As an entrepreneur, you know you can do only so much to popularize your product. Google’s frequently changing algorithm creates further problems. Also if you do not have enough money to buy the ads, you will be priced out of the market
Social media can build a brand
Building brand is a slow process. Building brand often may not lead to immediate sales. It is a more long term strategy. A brand stands for something that entrepreneur believes in. If you are an expert in creating websites that is your brand. The more you share your expertise (and sometimes use it to help a community you belong to), the more you get known. Read about Building A Brand vs. Building A Business.
Social media helps you to showcase your brand by
- putting these stories out in the open
- Reaching audience without waiting for search engines to show it.
With Social Media, you decide how and when to build your brand.
Social media is a connecting device
Social media is a great place to connect with customers. When one shares an article, a finding or a press release with the intended audience, its reach is amplified by further sharing. Also the comments and likes that are received on the article or outside it ( by email or other appreciation) indicates the level of engagement with audience.
Sharing others’ content is beneficial
One of the phenomenal things about social media is that you can share content that is not exactly related to your business area or not even from your own site and still gain from sharing it. People who are clued to your channel would like to know more about the things you are trying to share. It helps them to connect with your brand more.
Pick channels that work for you
Social media though is very fast moving medium and keeping up with the trends is time consuming. It is important to choose what works the best for your site.
A picture based site ( for example art works or recipe ) might benefit tremendously from images based social media sites such as Pinterest while text based sites benefit from Facebook and Twitter. A surprising addition called as Stumbleupon, sends this site some traffic. Showing your expertise on Reddit can fetch some good awards as well.
Caution: Social media is not your property and rules can change
Because of the financial situation, social media companies can change rules adversely affecting your site. If you have built a business around a single social media site then it’s a risk you are taking. When social media sites change the rules you might lose some traffic. Facebook rule changes had a massive impact on the social media reach recently. Diversify social media footprint and avoid reliance on a single site.
Social media is the best bet today for brand building and customer engagement.
Image courtesy of [Master isolated images] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net