Advantages of Social Media Over Traditional Media

There are many advantages of using social media as part of a business’s customer relations efforts.  Traditional media, such as newspaper ads, direct mail, telemarketing, etc., are being left behind, and more businesses are realizing that in our technologically savvy world, social media is the way to go.

1.  Everything is more instant- the web is open 24/7, which means customers provide feedback and expect real-time results.  Businesses can take advantage of this by providing quick responses to build credibility and customer service.

2.  It’s the best way of advertising- businesses can really work on brand engagement by getting the company name on multiple networks.  They can also do this creatively, which shows consumers that the business does have personality and is able to connect with their customers.  Businesses can also advertise towards a target group, and the network of networks that social media creates allows the brand name to spread quickly.

3.  It’s cheaper- most social media networks are free, unlike the price a business might have to pay to use TV or radio advertising.  Time is money, and social media saves time for the business and customers.  Businesses can listen to multiple customers’ opinions at once and customers can find information more easily (they don’t have to go through the process of finding a company in the yellow pages and taking the time to call them.)

4.  Monitoring- Businesses can gather data more instantly (seeing how many likes your business page has on Facebook is simple and current.)  By having measurement tools that are accurate to the second, businesses can quickly adapt to market trends, and they can also watch what the competition is doing.

Today’s world is upbeat and instant thanks to social media- businesses need to keep up with the pace set by these networking utilities in order to effectively reach their customers.

Social Media’s History and Where it’s Going

Social media is not a twenty first century invention- it’s become more main stream because more and more people are getting hooked.  Facebook, Twitter, and the other established social networks are becoming the modern and most common way to communicate, but they have had former counterparts, which have served as trial and error.  Social media has a history of achievements and errors, which has brought us to the high-paced, technological world we live in today.

The first email was sent in 1971 between computers that were right next to each other, launching the beginning of online communication.  Throughout the last two decades of the twentieth century, various networks emerged to cater to different kinds of people (such as LinkedIn for professionals, Flickr for avid photo fans.)  And Facebook had its predecessors- social media utilities that invited everyone to participate- such as GeoCities, SixDegrees, Friendster, and Myspace.  These networks have come and gone, and have been replaced by the known social media giants of today.  So what’s in it for today’s current social media networks?

On a business standpoint, more and more customers need to be reached through social media.  Social media conversations are growing louder and have replaced traditional modes of communication (such as a phone call or text between friends.)  Businesses are using social media to focus on their target group instead of trying to cater to everyone.  By choosing the right channel, marketers can be more efficient in their consumer approach.  Businesses also have to be more responsive and instant, which will focus more attention on replying to positive and negative consumer feedback.  Social media is also gearing businesses toward using online networks for advertising and communicating with the public.  Brand awareness through social networking platforms has become huge for many companies.  Social media is still growing, and businesses need to realize the wealth of information it provides and harness that resources the online networks make available.

Pack Your Social Media Toolbox With All the Right Tools

Imagine you have to set up a piece of furniture.  You are given a toolkit that has all the tools you need- screwdriver, hammer, pliers, etc- to do the job.  Except there’s one catch- the toolbox you have been given is one of those toy sets for kids.  You can pretend that you can build that piece of furniture (the tools look the same), but obviously those toy tools just won’t cut it.

Managing social media is the same way- many social media management platforms offer businesses tools to monitor and engage with their customers, and these tools seem like they would work, but actually create more hassle and confusion for the business.  Social media presents an abundance of information that could get very confusing if businesses do not know how to start or approach it.  This can becoming very time consuming, and marketers can run up a hefty bill.

So what tools will actually work?  Basically, the main tools necessary for businesses to manage their social media efforts will simplify the process.  First of all, businesses need to have all the information from the major social media utilities in one place- if businesses had to spend a lot of time gathering and hunting for customer feedback, it would be a very frustrating process.  Social Defender offers an information center in one place, which can bring feedback promptly to a business’s attention, who can in turn respond quickly and informatively.  It’s important that businesses attend to positive and negative feedback quickly, since customers nowadays expect a fast response since social media permits such.  Social Defender also allows for businesses to monitor current market buzz and consumer wants through the listening platform, which is important for keeping up to date with competitors and trends.  All this information would be a long, confusing process to sift through if social media management did not have multiple people to attend to all this information.  Social Defender allows the appointment of team members- without giving them full administrative access.  A good social media platform does not just connect with customers- it also makes social media efforts more informative and simplified for businesses.

Social Media Management can ultimately be the “make-it or break-it” tipping point for businesses and marketers since almost all consumers nowadays are plugged into social media networks.  Those businesses that maximize their SMM efforts will be more likely to succeed.

What Does Social Media Really Mean for Your Brand

Research shows that more than half of all adults are familiar with social media networks, and big and small businesses should not miss out on the opportunity to relay information to customers through these portals.  Customers post, like, comment on the products they (or others) buy, on their brand preference, and their past experiences with a business.  Marketers need to tap into this resource to efficiently handle consumer feedback and to improve customer relations.

Social Media allows a business to increase brand awareness.  By connecting with a target market and potential customers, getting the company and product name out there through social media platforms can help customers have a better understanding and provide them with the information that they want at their fingertips.  Social Media allows customers to easily search for products they want and like.  By having a presence on the established social media networks, a business can show its values and shape the customer’s perception of the brand.

Social Media is more personal.  Businesses and marketers can build partnerships and relationships with customers more instantly and easily.  Businesses have the ability to directly ask customers what they want, what problems they are having throughout the buying process, and any other questions the consumer might have.  On the flip side, consumers also can quickly relay information to businesses (positive and negative reviews), which helps the business improve their customer service and products.  Businesses can be successful by focusing on what’s trending in the market.  Social media monitoring makes the process compact and easy for those that need an easier and more efficient way to handle and evaluate social media efforts.

Key Tools for Managing Social Media

Social media is a vast landscape full of business potential- businesses can tap into consumer reviews and information through various established networks.  When managing social media, businesses may feel overwhelmed by sifting through the heaps of available information.  They need a compact and simple, but powerful, platform to get the most out of their social media efforts.

So what entails a successful social media managing platform?

Businesses must engage with the audience.  Marketers must be able to reach the customer at their level, which is nowadays on user-friendly networks such as Twitter and Facebook.  When a business communicates with their audience, they must be able to do so swiftly and informatively.  A good social media monitoring tool can gather information about certain target audiences and geodemographic groups, and bring all this information in one place.  Businesses can then promptly respond to positive feedback, clear up negative comments, and react to other sentiments.

Sometimes there is so much information to sift through, that management and monitoring becomes a challenging task.  With a workflow module feature, businesses can gather information about different brands and channels, and then assign team members to modify and add or delete posts…without giving them total control!  This makes it easier to manage accounts and research the industry and competitors.

A social monitoring tool will translate raw material for businesses and marketers so market trends and buzz is easier to understand.  A good platform should be able to gather info and create reports from many social networks- a broad coverage is important in the monitoring process.  Gathering all customer sentiment will help out PR and increase a firm’s effectiveness in their social media campaigns.