Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and jscreationzs

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and jscreationzs

Social media has redefined and reinvented the way we communicate. Twitter invites us to join the conversation while Facebook empowers people all around the world to stay connected. Businesses today have a unique opportunity to directly engage with consumers across multiple platforms. Marketers stress the importance of being active on social media, but why is it such an integral part of modern business communication? What can it offer small business owners compared to different marketing tactics? Here are just a few benefits that set social media apart:

Builds Trust

Social media has empowered both consumers and companies alike to share thoughts and ideas openly. With the advent of social media, businesses are able to answer questions, share information, and interact with consumers like never before. These direct channels of consumer engagement allow businesses to build trust with their consumers through immediate responses, transparency, and accountability.

Social media is an open platform where anyone can post reviews, comments, or concerns. Businesses that actively participate in social media have a higher level of accountability to their consumers to be transparent about their business practices. Building trust with your consumers through social media encourages them to refer your company and become repeat customers.

Improves Brand Image

As a business, your social media accounts are remarkable tools for improving your brand image. Business profiles are publicly viewable 24/7, offering great opportunities to promote new products and services. However, the open nature of social media can be just as helpful to your brand image as harmful. If a customer writes a bad review about a restaurant on their Facebook page, the restaurant has the opportunity to apologize and rectify the issue right away.

Unfortunately, PR incidents such as this are not always handled in the appropriate manor. If you are not careful about how and who is responding to criticism for your business, a social media nightmare like the one Amy’s Baking Company  faced could occur. In a nutshell, the owners of the business responded to criticism of their bakery by insulting customers with profanity and unwarranted comments. If Amy’s had the right person and procedures in place to handle reviews, they could have avoided the bad publicity they received. Overall, social media can improve your brand image if handled correctly and responsibly!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Until recently, search and social media were consisted separate entities. However, now more and more users are using Twitter, Pinterest, and other sites to search for products and information. Because of this trend, businesses have the opportunity to tailor their SEO efforts on social media to drive traffic and sales. Social media allows users to reach your website through organic search and content, meaning that your paid advertisements within newsfeeds are able to work in tandem with free Twitter statuses.

The combination of paid and organic search via social media has the power to drastically improve your performance. Social media is, now, a primary search engine to promote new content for your business. Using social media SEO can take your business from low visibility to a prominent search position. To achieve this focus on high quality content, well-developed pages and research SEO practices your company can implement!

These are just three of the reasons why it is important for your business to be on social media. Interacting with your consumers and utilizing social media platforms to promote your business is crucial to your business’ success. For more information on how social media can build trust and improve SEO, check out the following articles:

Forbes – 6 Ways Brands Build Trust on Social Media

Social Media Examiner – 18 Social Media SEO Resources

Mackenzie Priest