Haigram – Social networks allow you to interact directly with customers and fans, and likewise give them the chance to interact directly with your brand. Unlike traditional media, which offers only one-way communication, social media is a two-way street.
1. Crisis communication
Does your company have a plan in place for dealing with a crisis? While small businesses may not have a crisis blow up to the same sort of scale as, say, an issue with Starbucks, a smaller number of shares can have a devastating impact within a tight-knit community or niche.
Silence is not an option when it comes to responding to crises on social media. Maintaining well-run and managed social accounts and having a plan in place can help make sure you’re present and ready to engage if the worst occurs.
2. Customer and audience engagement
Social networks allow you to interact directly with customers and fans, and likewise give them the chance to interact directly with your brand. Unlike traditional media, which offers only one-way communication, social media is a two-way street.
If you want customers and followers to be engaged, you have to be engaged yourself. Stay active and respond to comments and questions on your own social media posts in a way that’s appropriate to your brand.
You can also use social media monitoring to keep an eye on what people are saying across the social web. Burger King doesn’t just tweet, it responds to others who are mentioning BK, too.
3. Customer service and customer support
People expect brands to be available on social media and seek out their social accounts for customer service — and beyond that, about half of social media users expect a response from brands on social media within three hours.
Social customer care can go hand in hand with more traditional customer service if you have the right tools. A customer service platform like Sparkcentral by Hootsuite can help you handle incoming messages across social media, email, text messages and live chat.
4. Learn more about your customers
Social media generates a huge amount of data about your customers in real-time. You can use that information to make smarter business decisions.
All of the major social networks offer analytics that provide demographic information about the people interacting with your account. This can help you tailor your social media marketing strategy to better speak to your real audience.
We’ve created extensive guides on how to use analytics in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest, so there’s no excuse to remain in the dark about your customers and social followers.
5. Gauge sentiment around your brand
We mentioned social media monitoring above as an important element of audience engagement. But it’s also a key source of intelligence about your brand itself. While it’s important to know how much people are talking about you online, it’s also important to know what they’re actually saying — and feeling — about your brand.
Lots of mentions could be a good thing… but if you’re getting lots of mentions with a negative sentiment, you need to do some quick thinking to figure out what’s gone wrong and address the problem.
Using social media for your business allows you to stay on top of sentiment analysis so you can protect your brand reputation.
6. Keep an eye on the competition
It’s also important to know what people are saying about your competitors.
For example, tracking mentions of your competitors might reveal pain points with their products or services that you could reach out to address, winning new customers in the process.
Monitoring the competition on social media also means you’ll be aware when your competitors launch new products, run promotions and release new reports or data.
7. Stay on top of industry news
In the online world, things move fast—and you can’t afford to be left behind. Keeping a virtual ear to the ground through social listening is a way to stay informed about upcoming changes to your industry that could affect the way you do business.
8. Targeted advertising
Social ads are an inexpensive way to promote your business and distribute content. They also offer powerful targeting options so you can reach the right audience and make the most of your budget.
Savvy marketers have embraced this key benefit of social media for business: by 2022, advertisers are expected to spend over $56 billion on promoting products over social.
Verb energy bars, for instance, created a campaign that reached across all of Facebook’s apps and services to a custom audience of U.S. adults.
With ad targeting options including demographic information, geography, language, and even online behaviors, you can craft specific messages that best speak to different groups of potential customers, and only pay for the exact viewers you want to reach.
People who have abandoned products in a shopping cart are prime potential customers. They have already found your website, browsed your products, and made a decision about what they might want. People abandon shopping carts for many reasons, but someone who has expressed this degree of interest in your company should not be ignored.
Using tracking tools like the Facebook pixel, you can show these potential customers social media ads for the exact products they have browsed on your website or placed in the shopping cart.
10. Reporting and analytics
It is always a challenge for marketers to prove return on investment. But with social media tracking and analytics tools, you can see the full impact of your social media activities, from follows to engagements right through to purchases.
Tools like Google Analytics and Hootsuite Impact track website traffic generated from social media, conversions, email sign-ups, and ROI for both organic and paid social media campaigns.
UTM parameters are another great tracking tool that will help you see which social networks are providing the most benefits for your business.