Monday, July 7, 2014

How investing in social media creates profit for companies

If you're still sceptical, let's have a quick look at some of the reasons why your business can benefit from investing in social media:
Exposure - Over 80% of online marketing firms report that social interaction between customers and businesses is the key to social media networking. Through digital word-of-mouth marketing, you are bound to boost your brand awareness
Reputation Management - Social media allows you to see what your customers are competitors are saying about you in real-time. This is a huge advantage, enabling you to fix any issues that may pop up, show the human side to your business and avoid any bad hype. 
Branding - Social media can help you to generate a recognisable identity and build up a larger consumer base at the same time.
Monitor - A stable online presence enables you to track engagement and view your progress year-on-year. 
Given the rapid growth of social media over the last few years, it can seem an impossible task to undertake. More importantly, time is money, and it's hard to know where to invest such a valuable resource. 
It's key to understand your brand, and to understand your audience. After that, you can explore different social media platforms and decide which suit your brand best. It's important to understand what platforms work best for your company/brand, and to act appropriately from there.
Nowadays, it's not just about utilising Facebook, Twitter or Google +. For instant feedback, or to trial marketing and test products, these platforms are a great way to reach a wider audience. On top of that, you can expect instantaneous feedback from your followers. 
If you're looking for a platform to advertise and sell products, an image-centric network would be an appropriate choice. Visual content is set to be the big thing of 2014, and are great for driving traffic directly to your website and selling products. Such platforms also have a good success rate for niche markets, enabling business to display images of their products. A network like Pinterest make it easy for users to create wish-lists of products or get gift ideas.
As much as these big names should be integrated into your social media strategy, the smaller niche market should not be overlooked. With social media platforms popping up for everything from wine to trading, there are so many great ways to interact directly with your target audience. You need to ask yourself what platforms your targeted audience use, and set up an online presence there.
Once you have established yourself on your chosen social media platforms, it is essential to learn how to use them well. You shouldn't just jump into doing it all at once; build-up your accounts gradually, interacting with your consumers and learning how to use the platform fully. That way, you can really build a connection with your target audience, and monitor the profit this will bring for your company.
A few success stories, should you not already be persuaded:

Groupon is a deal-of-the-day website, which features local and national coupons. It shows you money-off offers for everything from hotels to restaurants and services. It started in the USA, and is now worldwide.
Groupon have a well-established online presence, connecting with fans across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even niche websites like They have become so big now that they even feature their own holiday during the holiday season, "Grouponicus", offering holiday deals and shopping tips.

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day is a global campaign that "aims to raise awareness about the importance of good food and better food education for everyone by focusing on three simple actions – cook it, share it, live it." The campaign managed to reach 74 countries thanks to social media, allowing the project's community and supporter base to grow.
The campaign had a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, but also engaged with users on other charity websites like Food Day, the Edible Schoolyard Project and Just Food. This enabled them to engage with more users within their target audience.


Graze is a company that offers healthy snacks (nuts, fruits, flapjacks and so much more) in a letterbox-sized box directly to your desk or door. They offer freebies as an incentive for consumers to start using the product, and then offer them money off with a unique promotional code if they recommend the product to friends and family.
What's more, in each box they give their customers referral cards, containing a unique code, so that they will pass them on. The company has a huge Facebook and Twitter presence, and any current customer can post their code to their wall or feed. Each time their code gets used, they get £1 off another box of goodies.
The product itself is flexible; consumers can tell the company what snacks they like or dislike, love or want to be sent soon. They can delay boxes, if money is an issue, or if they are going on holiday. This makes the consumer feel in control, and will make them keen to continue using the product.
The combination of online/offline promotion, empowered, happy customers and a great social media presence has led to viral word-of-mouth marketing, enabling the company to grow exponentially.

by Charlotte Callaghan



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