Living in the accelerated future has led to information sharing at a rapid pace. This has led to being flooded with content daily. Furthermore, collaboration of social media, mobile and other digital technology have further facilitated this acceleration. This has led to complete transformation of the way we live, work and play, leading to the emergence of a completely new lexicon.
Social media has altered how we engage and communicate ideas significantly, redefining the relationship with both people and communities across geographies. This has also affected the way businesses are being operated or marketed.
With the use of modern technologies and platforms, the business world has completely changed. One of the biggest change can be noticed in communication, rendering things like fax machines all but extinct. Sure, there are still faxes that are being sent or received, but the majority of the time, they are now routed through computer systems.
Keeping all these changes in mind, it is also important that communication changes according to the changing needs of the customers and cater to the needs of the devices they are using. Even if social media was originally not designed to be used for businesses, one cannot deny its major role in marketing and communication.
Till now, advertising on social media platforms has been optional, allowing entrepreneurs to stay in touch with their target audience using this platform in other ways. Therefore, let’s look at some of the ways by which businesses of today’s world are communicating online through these social networking platforms, and how their evolution is affecting the business world.
Social media analysis revealed that rather than posting information about the company products, it is much more important to connect with customers using these social networking websites. This way, the focus shifted from sharing information and selling products to engaging with clients. To cite an instance, instead of posting recent updates on the low price of newest clearance sale item, most companies have changed their approach to share details about something which is more personal, like maybe images of their new rescued kitten, Fluffy. The post may seem random, but it is also showing the company’s initiative towards charity and animal welfare. All these thoughts and posts are building trust by establishing connections with social issues that they are passionate about. This trust between the consumer and the company increases the probability of doing business.
Campaigning: The various social media sites that are available today let you use that as a personal broadcasting portal without spending much on traditional formats of advertising. Before the existence of such portals, businesses would spend hours and millions to come up with advertisement campaigns that would address the requirements of the consumers. These hours of marketing material can now be created within minutes and shared among millions in seconds.
This has, infact, given the company a chance to respond to various kinds of information faster and to stay in touch with consumers in real time. This would further mean that all complaints are acknowledged immediately and issues are addressed faster and in a more efficient manner. If there is a problem, the businesses can offer to remedy the situation and make it publicly known if the dilemma has been resolved.
Image: A company can get a more humane appearance with the help of social media. Most companies let their employees to blog and post on their pages, making them appear more likeable and compassionate.
Times have changed, and websites, which previously just showed the image of the company, have also altered their approach. Social media analysis think that this way trust is built with clients and it’s easier to reach out to people with similar interests.
Easy availability: If New York and Las Vegas are two cities that never sleep, then Facebook and Twitter are two places where your business should never be closed. People approach this platform not only because they can address their situation on their own terms, they know this can be done according to their suitability. However, if the businesses doesn’t reply, they would do so eventually and the customer would be able to receive information as and when he wants it.
All these speak of the tremendous opportunity that businesses can reap from the social media platforms. They allow the organizations to directly respond to issues and incidents in real time, before it turns into a crisis, thereby enhancing their brand and reputation. It also allows the consumers to directly connect with clients. If the page is being liked or followed, it creates a level of endorsement which is invaluable to your brand. However, social media also exposes the brand to various risks, as unlike the traditional formats, social media channels move information online and in real time.
All this means social media marketing should be embraced and used to your advantage. If the brand reputation is not controlled by the owner, someone else will and it is important to mitigate risks and establish a brand name.
No matter what the service or the product, it is imperative to have a social media presence and build marketing and communication strategy according to that. So, how do you communicate with your target consumers?
Author bio: Aditi Biswas is a research and communication expert at a global research firm that conducts business research and provides market intelligent services. She helps firms gain actionable insights based on technology and best practices, thorough detailed market study and analysis.