Is Your Business Ready for Change?

They say the only constant in life is change, and for startups and businesses, that rule is practically written in stone. Today, social media marketing is that change and many businesses are finding that to remain relevant, they need to ride this wave wherever it takes them.
Below are 3 reasons to embrace social media (and tips on doing it well)

1. Visibility
If your business is not online, then for all intents and purposes, it doesn’t exist. When even the Yellow Pages is accessed via Google search, if your business isn’t taking advantage of social media to promote your products and services, there is no guarantee that your customers will be able to pick you out from all the competition. A good social media strategy allows you to stand apart and see a direct result as shown by your customers’ responses, whether it be sponsored advertising on Facebook, or dedicated brand promotion and customer engagement through Twitter or Instagram.
Using search engine optimization and Google Analytics on your website is another good way to know that your customers can in fact find you, while also allowing you to track how they behave on your site when they do. This allows you to learn and improve your products and services, while learning the best ways to place yourself in front of the right customers. 

2. Customer Engagement
This is a big one. Social media has made it easier than ever for customers to tell businesses exactly what they want and how. They do this through patterns of behavior while browsing or purchasing goods or services through your business website, but also directly, through social media. 
Social media has brought back the ability of word of mouth to make or break a company’s image, because most customer service interactions with brands take place on public platforms like Twitter. According to J.D Power, 67% of customers have used a company’s social media channel for customer service, and 42% of them expect a response within 60 minutes. 

The savviest companies know how to use this to their advantage for the best customer service interactions. An example of this is the airline, JetBlue, which is renowned for quick and efficient customer service responses on their dedicated support Twitter feed. They are known to respond within minutes compared to the average 5.1 hour response rate cited by Simply Measured in a recent study done of the top 100 brands. 

Another great example is Xbox which holds the Guiness Record for “Most responsive brand on Twitter” (who knew that was a thing?) This is a feat achieved by having 27 dedicated Twitter support staff known as the “Elite Tweet Fleet” who respond almost round-the-clock to customer issues, while keeping their 400,000-plus followers up to date on new releases, tech and games news.

3. Cross Promotion
Different social media platforms can be used by businesses in fresh and unique ways depending on your services being offered. 
Instagram, for instance, allows for an ongoing stream of visually engaging content that reflects your business image and brand identity, while taking advantage of trending topics through relevant hashtags. 
Twitter allows you to quickly and directly connect with customers to resolve complaints or receive compliments. Facebook and Tumblr allow you to engage with a variety of user demographics, and newer platforms like Vine and SnapChat allow brands to participate in the latest social media trends in order to maintain brand visibility and relevance across the board.
The best thing about social media is how versatile it allows your business to be when it comes to engaging with your customer base. Once you understand what content works best, and where, you become more than simply a source for purchasing a given product or service. 
With an effective, wide-ranging social media campaign, your business can transcend the boundaries of your products and become a touchstone for an entire way of life, in much the same way Red Bull is now synonymous with extreme sports, and the Virgin group with innovative business practices.
The question now is, are you ready to make the change?