The Business Benefits of Social Media
Keep Customers, Develop New Ones, Enhance PR and SEO
So many business benefits, so little time ;) Well, OK, we'll take the time to explain them all... Let's start with the kind of empirical information that all business leaders like to see:
Using social media will make these numbers go up:
- Conversion rates
- Customer accounts
- Sales per customer
and these numbers go down:
- Customer churn
- Customer acquisition costs
- Marketing costs
- Advertising costs
- Employee turnover
- Hiring costs.
Now, let's break down how exactly social media achieves this kind of growth on the sales side, and shrinkage in costs.
The business benefits of social media include:
- Augmenting Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The more your product/service/brand is mentioned online, the better chances you have for getting found on page 1 in Google search results.
- Enhancing PR: The very best way to communicate any information to the public, media and investors is to supply them all with easy access to information - stuff they can pull off the various social media channels to publish and/or distribute as they see fit.
- Growing fan-sumers: Customer evangelists are your best, cheapest sales force - and you can find them, and maintain their loyalty, through the people who choose to follow you on the social media channels.
- Improving customer service: Can't fix a problem you don't know about... real-time communications with social media tools like Twitter and immediate, mass feedback from blogs, Facebook and other social networking sites, means you have no excuse for not knowing what your customers want and need.
- Managing your online reputation: Stay ahead of the pack, the competition, and any negative press - be proactive about what your company says, does, thinks, reacts by participating in online conversations (and don't forget to listen!).
- Building quality links: Cross-promote your sites on all your social media profiles, drive traffic back to your corporate (ecommerce or informational) and drive lead generation/sales! Increased (quality) inbound links to your site also boosts your SEO juice, moving you up in the rankings of Google's search results.
- Crisis communications: Food safety scare at your plant? Use Twitter on your cell phone to your employees' cells to keep them informed minute by minute on how the situation is being managed.>
- Adding value-rich content to the Internet: Social media is a powerful way for your organization to contribute - in a meaningful way - to the online resources for your market. Make it a striking contribution: If you're not on the edge, you're taking up space (and there's just no more room on the Web for lying about!)