Social networks have undoubtedly taken the world by storm. Over 3.6 billion people, or almost half of the world’s population, use social media with the average user spending almost 2.5 hours on social media per day. By 2025, the number of social users around the globe is projected to grow even more to 4.4 billion.
These figures are quite amazing – especially considering the fact that just over a decade ago, online social networks were still in their infancy.
What started as a new and fun way to connect and communicate with friends and family has evolved into a collection of online platforms that can quickly and easily influence people’s behavior. We’re now living in a world where social media has the power to blur the line between the online and offline worlds.
What does this mean for your business?
You may have already come to the conclusion that social media is a tremendous advertising and marketing opportunity. You may also already have Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn pages, a Twitter account, or even a YouTube account. But if you’re not seeing any traction from your social media efforts, you’re probably not handling it the right way.
If you approach social media merely as an extension of your traditional advertising and marketing efforts, you’re not taking advantage of its most powerful features — facilitating user engagement with your brand.
What is social media engagement?
Unlike traditional advertising and media, social media platforms break down the wall of communication between companies and their customers. It gives people the ability to interact with businesses and brands just like they would with their friends or loved ones. Instead of just being a faceless commercial entity, companies can become more relatable in people’s eyes simply by embracing the interactive nature of social media.
Valuable Feedback Loops
Two-way communication and different forms of interaction are the cornerstones of social media. As a business, you can take advantage of these features to consistently receive valuable and authentic feedback from your target audience.
Feedback can come in many forms such as comments, likes and shares. If used correctly, you can use this information to better understand what people are looking for and continually tweak your brand messaging to give them more of what they want.
Build Relationships and Foster Loyalty
When people see that you have an active social media presence, they’re more likely to reach out to you for questions or react to your posts. The more effective you are at responding to people’s requests and giving them what they want, the faster people will see you as a reliable and trustworthy brand. Building trust is especially important in the financial management and planning industry because people are looking for reliable partners when it comes to dealing with their hard-earned money.
Additional Exposure for Your Content
You can post all sorts of business-related content like news updates, promotions, and in-depth analysis about current events and trending topics on your social media pages. Compared to posting content on your own website that people have to actively search for, your followers can get your updates in their social media feeds as part of their regular social media activities.
If your social media posts manage to hit the right notes, your followers can also repost or share your content which gets even more eyes on your posts resulting in increased awareness for your brand. Posting regularly also helps your brand stay relevant and on top of people’s minds.
With the right content and brand messaging, you can also establish yourself as a thought leader or an authority on a particular subject. This helps you distinguish yourself from your competitors and gives your brand more credibility.
Another benefit of having an active social media presence is the ability to actively manage your brand’s reputation. One thing to note though, you have to be prepared to respond to both positive and negative reactions.
Everything you do on social media is visible to the public. It’s a double-edged sword that can make or break your reputation in an instant. It’s imperative that you wear your public relations hat at all times whenever you deal with social media. One mistake can leave a lasting negative impression on your audience. The better you are at handling negative feedback on social media, the more positive impressions you’ll leave on the general public.
The power of social media is something that any modern company shouldn’t ignore. On top of offering tons of value, creating a social media presence only takes a couple of minutes and doesn’t cost any money. In fact, lots of online businesses exist and thrive purely off of their social media pages. To take advantage of its benefits, you have to take an active role and deliver compelling content that can invoke emotional responses among your audience.