What exactly does social media mean for my business?

Properly integrated business strategies generate more sales, which means more revenue to survive and then thrive.  Integrating social media across your business strategies ensures that your business makes all the right moves online as well as offline. 

Word of mouth marketing has long been the ultimate form of driving new leads to your business.  Most consumers look for some form of validation that the product or the service they are going to purchase will in fact do what is claimed, and a personal recommendation is seen as more credible than a salesperson’s pitch or a story presented in an advertisement.  Available to be used for more than communicating to family, friends, or colleagues, social media can shape the views of consumers on companies, brands, and their products by engaging with an entire community of buyers.

As a business owner this needs to change your thinking about social media.  It is rapidly turning into an online way of building word of mouth reputations that can assist your traditional marketing to drive real leads to your business.  If there is conversation happening online about your brand, then you want to know about it – and you want to be there to shape the conversation.  That’s how you can influence purchase decisions. 

Forward thinking businesses are using online information to attract attention to themselves.  An IT provider with a unique disaster recovery product is gaining the attention of IT journalists through Twitter.  An accountant is scouring LinkedIn looking for referrals.  A large computer retailer is looking for any product complaint in blogs and forums so that the problem can be addressed quickly and personally.  A city-based restaurant uses Facebook to launch a new menu and present an offer to online users.

The online marketplace is talking about you, your industry and the products and services they want and need.  You need to think about how you tap into this insight to look at your business strategies and make all the right moves.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and forums can be invaluable tools to your business if integrated across the four key strategies of business: Planning, People, Execution, and Systems.

Have you thought about using social media as a way to reduce your marketing and customer service costs while still seeing results?

Continue reading here.

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