Many people don’t understand how social media can help them grow their business, improve their brand image, or reach their customers; businesses got along just fine before social media came onto the scene. What people don’t think about is that social media has just revolutionized and expanded an aspect of the business world that already existed. Before social media, when someone wanted to know whether a brand was reputable, or wanted to know whether a company offered quality products they asked their friends and family. Social media has taken word of mouth and made it possible for someone in China to influence a consumer in New Jersey. Today, people can pull up reviews on restaurants, products, services, and more right from their smartphones.
According to the article, “Beyond The “Like” Button: The Impact Of Mere Virtual Presence On Brand Evaluations And Purchase Intentions In Social Media Settings” published in the Journal of Marketing last year (2012) about 83% of Fortune 500 companies use social media. Why? Because 22.5 million consumers use social media to learn about brands their unfamiliar with.
Businesses need to be a part of these conversations taking place on social media. If a customer has a bad experience at a retail store and posts about it on Twitter, thousands of other people can see that post. A smart business will take to social media and address the problem, not only to regain that individual’s loyalty, but so all their other consumers and potential customers can see that they care about the people that shop at their stores. Social media is about communicating with customers whether it’s for customer service purposes, post promotions, or just drive general engagement with the brand.
Social media is portable and growing. Now customers can access reviews, conversations, photos and more about businesses whenever and wherever they want. Not being present online, risks losing customers while creating an online presence through social media can not only help a company grow, but also help brand image and increase customer loyalty.