Social media provides a much greater service to savvy companies than pure exposure. When properly implemented into an online marketing campaign, social media has the ability to target high ROI influencers and serve as a beacon for big data. If you have not looked into these innovative new functions for social media, now is the time!
Social media introduces your company into new markets.
Social media is the new word-of-mouth. In past business generations, people might have asked a neighbor for a referral to a dentist or plumber. Today, these referrals happen on websites like Yelp and Foursquare. The people giving the referrals do not know the people who are looking for new services, and vice versa. The concept of word-of-mouth has been socialized, and a great review on a public website can boost your business in markets that you may not even have the budget to reach.
There is also an entire market of social influencers who create their livelihoods by becoming trusted sources of information for an industry. If one of these bloggers gives you the thumbs up, you can expect a wave of new business. By the same token, these gatekeepers can close your business away from the prospects who trust them. It is up to you to use social media to become relevant to these gatekeepers (because they may simply ignore you as well) and present your business as a viable option for their followers.
Social media brings your company valuable information about your target audience.
Big data is a concept that you should be familiar with, as it has become a basic buzzword of the business community over the past five years. The more information that you can bring in about your customers, the better your outbound campaigns will be. You will be able to more precisely target your best prospects. You will be able to segment your audience into buyer profiles and present messages based on their positions in the customer journey.
Social media is one of the easiest ways to gather valuable information about your audience. They give it to you freely! There is no longer a need to bring together focus groups or go door to door handing out surveys. All that you have to do now is cultivate an interesting online conversation and collect the results.
Your company can keep up with changes and trends in the industry through social media.
Before social media, industry “trends” were difficult to pinpoint, especially as they changed. Companies were forced to play catch up after a bad sales quarter or a news report detailing some major societal change that had finally bubbled to the surface. Within your social media web, you are capturing industry trends in real time. Changes in the conversation represent new threads in customer thought processes. If you are cultivating a good conversation, your company will actually be ahead of the curve.
Combining a strong social media strategy with an eye to continuous improvement gives you an unstoppable workflow that includes your customers in the production schedule. You also save money on unusable product iterations – your customers will tell you upfront if an idea is bad or not.
Social media gives you insight into your competitors.
In no way should you remain isolated in your own social media threads. Information about your competitors is readily available in their social media threads. Pick up on customer complaints across the river and devise a marketing campaign to solve the problem to steal prospects. You will not be able to access or translate competitors’ threads without a working knowledge of how social media operates.
You can also use the social media threads of your competitors to see which marketing ideas are working. Note how successful competitors keep a conversation going. Modify these ideas for your own brand, bringing the best ideas to your customers to vet.