Social media is the trend of the last years, and despite the negative predictions which foresee the soon disappearance of these sites, their presence continues to grow in our everyday life… Social media is also important for companies, but why social media for business? Furthermore, what should be the rationale behind the adoption of a social media marketing (SMM) strategy? For instance, using social media only because it is fashionable is not a good reason.
In this post, I will highlight a few good reasons for using social media for business, at the same time, I will also elaborate on the high expectations that many business owners have.
Why is Social Media so Important?
Social media is becoming increasingly important for people, for various reasons. Below is a short:
- Possibility and ease to reconnect with people, along with the opportunity of socialising with new people
- High control over the communication and the timing—you choose when you want to socialise, no disturbances.
- Widespread and inexpensive way to communicate
- Social media can make you happier, thanks to the increased levels of serotonin. This chemical aspect is also very important. When we socialise, we get this sort of serotonin hit that leads to good mood increase and stress decrease.
However, the ultimate reason is the satisfaction of our urgent need for visibility. We want to appear and get feedback from others; this need had been already evident when common people started to appear on TV. All of us dream of being famous and acclaimed. Yet, at the same time, we are all voyeurs who like to watch what other people are doing, partially to make a comparison and see if we are in the norm, and partially because of our innate pleasure of gossiping.
In principle, social media is good for us, what is wrong is its abuse and the substitution of real life with virtual life.
When Did Businesses Start Using Social Media?
Why social media for business? Social media became a fairly interesting occasion for companies, because it constitutes another means of grabbing people’s attention and finding customers. Nevertheless, this does not necessarily mean that the marketing effort will translate into conversions. Instead, companies are often blind and consider only their interests: social media seemed a profitable way of reaching the intended target at a lower cost.
What was missing? The thing to bear in mind is this: is your audience interested in grabbing your message while using social media?
Human beings are particularly keen on avoiding undesired messages, and the same filter may be applied when using social media.
Why Social Media for Business: The 3 Reasons
Despite the likelihood of scarce success in social media, there are some good reasons to use social media strategies for businesses, which Forbes brilliantly reports.
- Increased brand awareness: Like in other form of advertising, a social media marketing campaign will increase the brand recognition due to exposure.
- Customers’ insights: Through these strategies, firms acquire a great deal of precious information about customers. These strategies are a substitute for other forms of media, such as telephone or email, and it is often more direct.
- Search-engine optimization (SEO) and website traffic: Social media is able to noticeably increase the traffic to a website and improve the SEO.
When Social Media Is Uncertain for Businesses
Social media works effectively and brings about the aforementioned results, if well exploited. However, it might not have a dramatic effect when it comes to selling more or acquiring new customers. For these reasons, it is better to set the right expectations when starting a social media campaign.
In my opinion, this happens because when people use social media sites, they are not very interested in companies and advertising, unless it incorporates in the objectives of social media—that is, socialising. Eventually, the companies that act like humans in social media are the winners, paradoxically the ones which put aside their economic motives results closer to their prospects and customers, thus being more likely to close a deal.
So if you are thinking about starting a social media marketing campaign, be aware of the many potential benefits, but remember that people are there to socialise, not to buy, so the chances of acquiring qualified leads is pretty limited. Your best prospects might not even be using social media.