How Social Media can Help Your Business

Can your customers find you?

First of all: Does your company have a website?
As we already know from theories of marketing, consumers when making purchase decisions retrieve information from their Awareness set, then then to consideration. If you are not online out there for them to find you, then there is zero chance of being found. But of course, just being out there is not enough – that is why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was introduced.

Do you know what social media means – or do you think you do? If you haven’t an idea, it would be beneficial to visit Social Media For Dummies first for a rough idea before proceeding to this one.

Search Engine Optimisation & Social Media

They work hand in hand

Can your customers find you?It is important to know what SEO can do and how it complements social media so that you can better find out how to reach your audience!

Simply put – here is how SEO works:
The more traffic the site receives, the higher the ranking it would be. So would social networking sites naturally be the first to be listed in search results? The answer is YES!

Secondly, it would determine if the content is relevant by scanning through titles and keywords. A good way would be to constantly add content to your site. Idea? By blogging, the content is always fresh and better still, if you have comments and discussion going on. Chances are there will be much more traffic; remember – the web is interconnected.

Opinion Leadership

Be the one they turn to for data

These days, whenever information is needed, people turn to social media first since that is where they are on most of the time. News in March 2010 revealed that Facebook Reaches Top Ranking in US – so if you aren’t on Facebook yet, you’d better pray your competitors aren’t!

You may think – why do I share information with my clients? Won’t I be out of business soon!?
Provide information willingly – they gain, you gain. Be the one they respect and trust – soon business will come.

Case Study: Starbucks

Starbucks logo

  • Engaging audience
    On Twitter, they are creating conversations with customers by answering questions, retweeting what has been said about them, thus building loyalty and valuable relationships.

    Take note on the tone they portray – it’s always something about “We care” and this is probably why customers choose them over and over again.

  • Maintaining Relationships
    The Facebook page is often updated with activities, news, inviting customers to events. This keeps them updated and attached to Starbucks.
  • Feedback for New Ideas /Improvement
    My Starbucks Idea is a great way to allow customers to suggest their ideas for new Starbucks flavours. Users can contribute their ideas, vote for the best ones, discuss and maybe even watch their ideas evolve into a new flavour soin stores.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
    (Starbucks)RED is only one of the campaigns they have participated in to show their dedication to give back to society.

Measuring Return-on-Investment

It’s qualitative – not quantitative!

Social media is about engaging your audience – and results may not be quantifiable in quantitative methods. Your superior might pressurize you on this – how do we tell that it is working? Would having a thousand followers indicate they are interested in listening what I have to say?

Some suggestions from eCommerce Times:
* traffic to your website / Google analytics
* Google alerts
* Twitter searches
* Facebook Insights
* social media and blog alert sites (both free and paid services)

Specific metrics to watch with your social media marketing efforts include:
* traffic and sales leads (rough idea of the number of people who interact with your brand);
* true cost (consider your time investment);
* customer interactions (monitor comments, reposts, mentions about your brand to gauge how people feel about your brand and your competitors); and
* following/friend/contact rating (if people are connecting to your social networking profile — you are providing them with value).

At the end of the day, the success can be determined by measuring an array of factors that may affect a company’s overall performance.

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