Even though it makes sense for companies to use social media platforms for the sake of marketing, some are using them more for the sake of creating an online presence. While having a website is one form of online presence, social media does provide you with the ability to interact differently with potential leads.
The marketing possibilities you can explore on these large networks often overshadow all of the other benefits that companies can get out of having profiles on the various networks. Perhaps you run a business where marketing isn’t necessarily your top priority because of the previous success you have had. However, social media and businesses should go hand-in-hand because of your customers.
Since social media connects people, you could use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media sites to build relationships with potential customers. People often do research online to find more information about a business or a product, but social media allows potential customers to connect with the business directly with just a few clicks on the keyboard. If a potential customer has a question about your product specifications, you can answer the question immediately. If you have the information on your website, you can link to the site where the information can be found.
Larger businesses may not be as social with customers, because they could be getting thousands of tweets or messages every day. Because of this, larger companies who sell directly to the end-consumer will hire people to interact with potential customers online or just comment on tweets. For example, people will write to Starbucks on Twitter and Facebook to let the company know that they are enjoying their refreshments on a hot summer day, and representatives from Starbucks will reply to these messages directly.
Because of this communication, people feel closer to the business, and the communication goes hand-in-hand with the personalization of cups with customers’ names at the physical stores. In the end, it is all about the consumer branding and building those important relationships. Starbucks’ customers are important to the business and the corporation wants to nourish these relationships.
In addition, some companies will use social media to do some market research for new products. It is easy to get responses immediately, especially if you target people who are interested in providing feedback. To continue on the Starbucks example; a representative simply has to share an update about what products consumers would want to try and then present a few options. Within a few hours, the company may have hundreds of responses to work with. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on market research, you can get answers directly from the buyers!
Of course, people will go directly to your website to explore your products or services if they are interested, but you may offer something that people don’t realize they necessarily need. Creating conversations about your business offerings could inspire people to buy your products or services because people could visualize a sudden need. For example, people may not realize that they need your organizational shelving system, but they may be convinced once they see how the system works and how flexible it is in all types of décor or personal styles.
Sometimes you have to show buyers what they are missing and how they can benefit from your products before they make a purchase. Social media platforms provide you the ideal stage for showing off your products or services.
Starbucks doesn’t necessarily need to market the business in hopes of increasing sales, but the decision to be active on social media platforms is a type of marketing. Representatives will ask people how they are keeping warm during winter and present several drink options to share their current menu with consumers. While they may just seem like a friend offering advice, they are indeed marketing their services. However, their tweets or Facebook updates don’t seem like marketing because of the personable brand Starbucks has created.
The company uses social media to create a personality that is friendly, approachable and honest. Rather than feeling spammed by their messages, people see drink suggestions as a friendly gesture.