The influence of social media in our personal lives can never be underestimated. The impact is so immense that for some people, it has become an addiction and for many others a daily routine.
However, social media is more useful than we sometimes believe it is. Many businesses, specifically in Africa, have now resorted to social media to market their products and services. The benefits are overwhelming. There is however one problem that these businesses face. Most of them are oblivious to some hidden benefits of social media because they are preoccupied with the very obvious and basic benefits. It’s time to explore new avenues and use them to grow our businesses. Jovago and IT News Africa bring you the top 10 benefits of social media you may not have payed attention to.
1. Increased Website Traffic – Without traffic, no business website can survive. The more traffic you generate to your website, the higher your sales. This is a simple module. Social media is a quick and relevant way of directing traffic to your website. By posting comments, articles and captions with trackable links in them that redirect users, followers and fans to your websites, you become one step closer to convincing the customer to purchase your product or use your service.
2. Boosts Customer Engagement – Trust is very important in every business transaction. The more the customer trusts the seller, the greater the chances are that he/she will buy your product or use your service. Many customers see online businesses as hoaxes or scams and one sure way to distill their minds off such thoughts is through engagement on social media. Quite often, asking open ended questions through quizzes and polls as well as answering to their requests and complains makes them feel a sense of belonging and engagement. They begin to use your products and services as well as recommend it to other people.
3. Leverage Various Media Formats – Social media has the potential of leveraging various media formats on one channel. The use of videos, images, gifs and various other formats creates good visual appeals for customers and makes them interested in what the business has to offer. Texts are mostly very boring and it may take a lot of pages to really create the real picture of what you are selling when you text it. When these descriptions are embodied in images and videos, it makes it easier to digest and more interesting to explore for the customers.
4. It’s Cheaper / Decreased Marketing Costs – The most important facet of every marketing venture is to save cost as much as possible while making more. Social media is one very cheap way of marketing as it employs various tools and channels that engage customers and get them to buy or use a service without actually having to spend huge amounts advertising on billboards, tv and radio commercials. With a very minimal cost , you can get increased sales and boost profit margins while still reaching new customers.
5. Identify target audience and reach out to new ones – Social media gives businesses the opportunity to identify their target audiences as well as reach out to new ones. There are different people on social media cutting across different age groups and spending abilities. Social media gives an open playground to access all these people and many more.
6. New Product/Service Introduction and Education of Target Audience – If there is one tool that has the power to create the needed awareness when introducing a new product or service; as well as educating your target audience on the importance and usage of a device, product or system, then that tool is social media. It makes it possible to launch campaigns, monitor trends and inform millions of people about new products and services they may ordinarily not hear about.
7. More Brand Mentions/Reach millions of customers with Hashtags – There is nothing more motivating for a business than seeing your brand, product or service mentioned severally everywhere. When customers need to engage you, they mention the name of your business via handles and hashtags. The more hashtags there are, the more trending your product or service is. More mentions also mean that you get more website visits as it makes people interested in knowing what you have to offer. The use of relevant hashtags have proven to have great impacts on customer engagements and choices.
8. Open Communication (Two-Way Communication) – One major advantage social media gives to businesses is the ability to effectively communicate with customers and clients as well as get Customer Feedback on various issues they don’t understand. When there is a crisis, social media gives a two way communication channel to discuss what went wrong and how to correct it. A very effective tool for disaster management.
9. It’s Faster – When businesses are trying to meet timelines and beat deadlines, the one sure way to get the information out there to clients and customers is via social media. Almost every now and then, there are over a million customers on facebook, twitter, instagram and other channels. By posting on all these platforms, a business is more likely to reach it’s desired customers faster than traditional offline marketing or tv and radio commercials which may take several days or weeks to even cast, produce and edit. If you need it out there quickly, post it on social media.
10. Showcase organizational culture and values – Many businesses do not know that letting the customer know how the business is run or what happens in and around the business premises generates trust. Taking a random selfie or introducing your staff on social media is one very good way of letting everyone know who exactly they deal with. For example, in many firms, the voice of the customer service agents are always heard but wouldn’t it be fun and great if the customers actually get to see who exactly they have been talking to? Your guess is as good as mine.