Most businesses, whether a one-person outfit or a large multi-national, have realized the importance of a good social media presence in today’s ‘omni-channel’ world.
Long gone are the days of relying on a shop window and a good telephone manner to bring in your customers.
‘Omni channel’ describes the multiple channels of communication available to a business in the 21st century and these include ‘traditional’ forms such as print, bricks and mortar – a shop or factory unit – telephone, and post, and the modern additions like a website and social media, to name just a few.
Social media was, initially, the preserve of teenagers posting pics and arranging meets, but it has quickly become a marketing and selling tool in its own right, for brands large and small, and should be ignored at your peril.
You only have to look at someone like Lady Gaga who has 52.6 million followers on her Twitter account to see the power of social media; imagine sending a tweet out to hit this number of potential customers about a new product or service – this is free advertising.
Whenever Coca-Cola posts a new message on Facebook, it has the potential to reach the 94 million people who have ‘liked’ their page; and this does not take into account anyone who then shares the post – I hope you can see where I am going with this.
Social media is a huge FREE advertising tool and, if managed and done well, it can become one of your main advertising channels.
But this is not all that social media is good for; larger corporate companies use social media as a support line for their services or products and closely monitor tweets and posts to make sure they are not being ‘bad mouthed’.
If they spot a detrimental post or tweet they respond quickly, while other companies actively use platforms like Twitter to run their question-and-answer or support areas.
Not all social media is about writing witty comments. Some platforms are very visual and so, if your products or services are particularly image-orientated, platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are ideally suited to you.
Nordstrom is a clothing and fashion retailer with more than four million followers on its various boards, but you do not need to be a large multi-national business to make an impact. Nordstrom pales into insignificance compared with the fashion blogger Joy Cho, who has more than 12 million followers.
So, as you can see, social media, in its various platforms, is there to be utilised for free, and, if used correctly with a managed marketing plan, it can reap huge benefits.
It does not matter if you’re one person in your bedroom or an employer of 100s of staff, you too can and should be social.