Social media is a tool that allows people to share, create, and exchange ideas or information in online communities.
It is an interactive way to ask and give information. For example, you can ask a person online about a comment he or she had made or you can cast your vote regarding the popularity or relevance of an online article. There are also other websites like Flixster that allows you to rate the movies that you like.
Unlike regular media such as television or newspapers that don’t provide you with the ability to share your ideas on the topic, social media allows you to express your thoughts and communicate with other people online who also share the same interest.
Social media is a broad term and there are different types of social media websites. All these websites have one thing in common and that is their ability to allow people to interact with each other online. Here are the most common types of social media websites:
- Wikis – People can interact in these websites by editing or adding articles. Examples include Wikia and Wikipedia.
- Video Sharing and Social Photo – People can interact in these websites by sharing and commenting on videos and photos posted online. Examples include YouTube, Instagram, and Flickr.
- Social Networking – People can interact in these websites by joining groups, adding friends, having discussions, and posting comments. Examples include Last.FM, Facebook, and Hi5.
- Social News – People can interact in these websites by voting or commenting on the latest news. Examples include Reddit, Propeller, and Digg.
- Social Bookmarking – People can interact in these websites by tagging a particular website or by searching through a list of websites that are bookmarked by other online users. Examples include Simpy, Blinklist, and Del.icio.us.
Why is it crucial for online businesses to use social media?
Social media is a relatively new phenomenon and it has become an important part of modern marketing. To become successful in your online business, you have to create an online presence in the three most popular social websites: Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. According to some statistics, there are over 600 million people who log in to Facebook daily and 500 million people have a Twitter account.
It is also vital to have a social profile on websites like Reddit, Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Pinterest, and LinkedIn because these websites can help you in exposing your business to millions of people who are online. Here are some of the most important benefits you can get from harnessing social networks in your online business:
1. Showcasing your business
Having a strong social network presence is effective in developing the reputation of your business. Updating your business regularly on social platforms online can increase the reputation and presence of your business. By doing so, people will begin to see your business as an authority. Digital marketing can also create brand awareness and drive new sales for your business.
2. Building a community of loyal customers
Most customers like to become part of an online business that has an active community. Studies show that customers usually buy products from businesses that have a Facebook fan page.
It is important to have an emotional connection with your clients because they are the ones that guarantee the positive reputation of your online business. The presence of your business in a social community is a powerful tool in developing brand awareness, recognition, and recall. Social networks are the perfect place to build a healthy relationship with your customers.
3. Increasing the exposure of your online business
If you want your online business to become more popular among numerous websites, you can do so by creating a strong social presence. Social media websites are popular worldwide because they are used by millions of people who share ideas with one another.
Social networks are able to deliver information to people instantly. The person who receives that information can pass it on to another individual, which is a great way of advertising your products online. Studies show that participating in social platforms several times a week can effectively boost the presence of your business.
4. Increasing the trustworthiness of your online business
Social websites are great tools to reinforce the integrity of your online business. Communicating with your clients on social platforms will make you a reliable source of information regarding the products and services of your online business. By doing so, the credibility of your online business will significantly improve.
You can also use social networking sites to respond to the feedback of your customers regarding your products or services. By doing so, you can transform a customer’s negative experience into a positive one which can help in the success of your online business. Always remember that the satisfaction of your clients is important in maintaining the success of your online business.
5. Driving the sales of your online business
Responding to your customer’s feedback in a timely manner will definitely increase the sales of your online business. Most customers like the idea of online businesses responding to their concerns in a personal and prompt manner and social networks allow you to get to know the preferences of your clients.
Through social websites, you will be able to know what your customers don’t like about your products or services — and so, you can improve them to satisfy your clients and make your online business successful.
6. Boosting your online business’ ranking in search engines
You can use social platforms to increase your business ranking in search engines. Your tweets from Twitter and business profile on Facebook can easily appear in the search results of Google by optimizing the description and title of your online business.
7. Attracting new customers
There is a high possibility that you will acquire new customers by using social networks for your online business. When you create an online community about your business, you will not only meet and acquire new customers but you will also get the chance to interact with them. There is a high chance that potential customers will discover your online business if you simply add a post, video, or image in your social website accounts or profiles.
8. Reducing marketing costs
Digital marketing is an affordable way to promote your online business. Unlike traditional advertising and marketing that require you to pay a significant amount of money, digital marketing only needs your passion and creativity to have a successful social media campaign.