The Importance of Social Media for Business

Social Media keyboardCobb InFocus recently interviewed Carol Morgan, managing partner at mRELEVANCE, about social media for business.  Here is a recap of her conversation with them.

What is so crucial about a social media presence for businesses?

Having a social media presence is crucial for any business for multiple reasons. Consumers are spending more and more time on mobile and on social media sites. In fact of the 11 hours a day that Americans spend with electronic media, slightly more than two hours will be spent on a smartphone or PC.

Additionally, half of Americans get product reviews and recommendations from their friends on social media.

Your business could have a variety of goals for social media:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Communicating and engaging with consumers
  • Using links on social media to send referral traffic to your website
  • Improving your website’s search engine optimization
  • Getting reviews from happy customers

What are the benefits of having a vast and up-to-date social media presence? 

Having a vast amount of connections through your corporate social media sites with help your quality original content to spread virally faster. Of course, your vast network needs to be relevant and engaged. Finding ways to get your happy customers engaged and get them to create user generated content for you is key to social media marketing in 2015.  Having an up-to-date social media presence is important because social media is constantly changing. Whether it’s a new site or update to an old, you need to be in the know. Update your sites accordingly, take advantage of new options and look into new sites that would be good fits for your business. Make sure that your header images are the right size, that your branding is consistent and that you have great content.

Are there certain channels that are more beneficial for different types of businesses? How do sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest work for service, retail, small or corporate businesses?

Look at each social site to see if it would be a good fit for your business. Also take into consideration how much time you have to post and update. If you can only maintain two sites, pick the best too.  Are you a Realtor that needs to network with other agents and professionals? Tweet away. Are you a small clothing shop that loves taking photos of your products? Check out Instagram. Have great photos on your blog or website? Pin away. Want to get your corporate brand out and attract new customers? Facebook is perfect. Each site has its benefits, and each can work for your company in different ways. Remember, it’s all about where your audience is and how they want to engage!

At what point does it make more sense for a business to outsource their PR and social media needs to firms rather than allot an employee or department within their company to keep it up to date and relevant?

If your company has the resources to internally manage your PR and social media needs, that’s great! However, be sure you establish goals and an overall marketing plan, as well as a content calendar.  Great content doesn’t just happen; it requires thought and strategy. If your goals aren’t being met because of time or lack of expertise, then outsource to a knowledgeable agency. If you are putting in effort, you need to be getting results. If you’re not, hand it over to a firm that understands it. They can keep your social sites up-to-date and track engagement. They can also get your news where you want it to be with the media relationships they have.

Do you have any tips on how to make managing multiple platforms easier and more streamlined? Do you have preferences of websites like Hootsuite?

Managing multiple platforms efficiently may seem daunting, but there are multiple programs that make it easy. We use Sprout Social to schedule social media posts, respond to customers, track engagement and develop reports. We also highly suggest downloading the Facebook pages app. Perfect for managing your Facebook page when not in the office! Other popular programs are Hootsuite, Buffer and SocialOomph.

What are some ways to help boost your social media presence?

You are going to see two main themes for engagement and boost in 2015 – user generated content and advertising. Launch a contest, promotion or incentive that encourages your followers to post a selfie, post a photo, use a hashtag, check in or take some action. Make your social media campaign fun, have a call to action and always give participants a reason to enter-like a gift card or incentive. Pinterest or Facebook contests are always fun and have great results. You are going to get the most bang for your buck with these types of promotions. Advertising is another option. Facebook ads are perfect for boosting your presence on the site. Whether it’s getting more likes, conversions to your website or more engagement on posts, there’s multiple choices when advertising. Behavioral targeting on Facebook is really sophisticated, not to mention fun.

The smartest and most innovative businesses are already taking advantage of social media. If you haven’t gotten on and engaged until now, that’s okay!  We suggest starting today because each day your company isn’t online is a day you have missed increasing and engaging with your customer base! If you find yourself frustrated by social media or you simply don’t have time for it, give mRELEVANCE a call at 770-383-3360 or contact us on our website! Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter! We’d love to hear from you.