It’s the New Year and if you’re like most, you’re thinking about what your resolutions will be this year. You might be thinking of getting into shape and losing some of the belly weight. Or you are thinking about taking a long awaited trip back to the Philippines. Perhaps you are thinking of new ways to bring in more customers for your business.
All of them sound like some great goals for the year. Hitting the gym and calling your travel agent seem simple enough, but you might be stumped about the latter. Believe me, attracting customers to your business is actually simpler than you might think.
During the holidays you may have noticed family members looking, sharing, commenting, and liking things on Facebook. Perhaps, you also noticed the kids taking selfies and making videos on their phones. You might even have used your phone to find a new place to eat. However, if this all sounds foreign to you, perhaps it’s time you get on the bandwagon on how to “get social” for yourself and for your business.
Did you know that nearly 57% of the US population is on social media and according to the latest study, the average American spends over 3 hours a day on social media. It has transformed the way we find, create, and share information. A few decades ago we were only able to speak with our families over the phone. Now we can see our relatives in the Philippines grow before our eyes through video conversations online. The question now is, how do you use social media to grow your business?
When I started my company 20 years ago, social media didn’t exist. Traditional channels, like TV, radio, billboards, and print, were the only marketing options. Since these channels only allowed “one-way communication”, advertisers need only to focus on creating appealing advertisements and choosing the appropriate media platform to deliver the messages. But now, social media has created a paradigm shift allowing consumers to interact directly with companies. Today a customer can share their good and bad experiences through social media. This is great especially if your reviews are good. Word of mouth and customer reviews are very powerful tools for a company to gain new customers.
That’s why I suggest that you get started with social media. It can certainly help generate attention for your company or business. Social media gives your business the exposure it needs and will improve its online search ranking. That is to say, social media is the tool to get your name out there. Social media platforms provide instant “two-way communication”, allowing you to have direct conversations with your audiences. So, in the long run, you can develop positive customer relationships and increase the number of loyal customers. It might also open doors to spark business partnerships. Furthermore, since customers can comment directly on your social media sites, you can understand their thoughts, observe their behaviors, and obtain marketplace insight. Since customers’ needs and wants are the key to driving your business, social media is the best platform to provide first-hand information for understanding consumer insights and can help you improve your business.
Internally, social media can help you nurture employee relationships. For managers, social media can be a good platform to share their business decisions or company messages timely and authentically. Also, with the chance for direct communication with employees, managers will have the opportunity to know more about them which will ultimately lead to a positive impact on employee loyalty and productivity. Furthermore, social media can allow all the employees to participate in discussions which will make employees feel more engaged with the organization. Social media, which allows communication to flow from bottom up and top down, brings a very tangible influence on employer-employee relationships.
The best part about social media marketing is that it is the least expensive marketing approach especially compared to traditional marketing. It is very easy to create social media accounts for your own business. After creating the social media accounts, you should ask yourself these questions: What’s the key to successful social media marketing for your business? How can you create traffic on your social media sites? Following through with a successful social media strategy actually takes time. A successful campaign has a well-thought-out plan which includes making use of trends and keeping well-managed conversations with your audiences. The concept of using social media for business purposes is not difficult, but to make it succeed requires skills like research, creativity, and management.
This is an era of engagements and relationships. I have to admit that the most effective way to drive traffic to your business now is through word-of-mouth or, as some people call it, “peer-to-peer.” The basic idea is to encourage people to recommend your business to others and most importantly, say something good about it. Social media is the best platform to “make friends” with all your clients or potential customers. When they become your friends and like you, they will talk for you. It can go a long way to grow your business and keep the momentum going. I don’t think this is a new concept for most business owners, but people just need to use new ways to make “friends”. Do you want to expand your engagement with a wider population? Let’s boost your business with social media!
This article was written by Giancarlo Pacheco, President and CEO of PCA, for Asian Journal. Learn more about our expertise at www.plancagency.com.