The term social media pertains to the use of computer-based technology to ease the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information among users through virtual networks and communities. Social media is an internet-based facility that gives users access to speedy electronic communication. For example, photos, videos, content, personal information, and documents etc. Users connect with social media through web-based software or applications by using electronic devices such as a computer or electronic gadgets like tablets and smartphones. With social media available to all and sundry, everything now is just a click away.
According to the latest social media statistics, there were 3.78 billion social media users worldwide in 2021 – and this number is only going to rise in the next coming years (Statista, 2020). As it stands, this translates to around 48 percent of the world’s current population. (Mohsin, 2021)
SOCIAL MEDIA AND BUSINESS RELATION
In the present times, social media and business go hand-in-hand. From creating to marketing, branding, and promoting a business, social media plays an indispensable role in making your business a successful venture. To exemplify, think about the times when the facility of social media was only accessible to a handful of people. A small entrepreneur, in those times, had to bear all the expenses to pay for radio, print, and television ads with the sole objective of getting his business, product or service acknowledged and noticed. Fast forward to today, social media has revolutionized the methods of doing business. Social media, being an online communication, enables you to attract your potential customers, interact with them and share your services and information in real-time. This can help you a great deal to reach out to your customers, sell your services and promote your products. All you need today to run your business smoothly is a stable, continuous internet connection, basic computer know-how, a website, information and pictures of your products, and social media channels for the promotion of the products and your business is ready to reap the rewards.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS INTEGRAL TO BUSINESS BOOM
In this digitalized world, imagine running your business without getting any help from free social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, which have been developed not only to keep everyone connected but also to aid business owners in marketing their businesses. Social media can impact your business in ways inconceivable. Today, most business owners prefer penetrating the online market like Amazon, Walmart, Shopify, Etsy, eBay for advertising their products or services over promoting them in person like in the old days. The advent of social media has coined the phrase ‘word of mouth’, meaning you can voice your business ideas via social media channels and get a response from the customers to grow your business. In this way, social media empowers a businessman to reach thousands of people or even more that they would not have been able to reach otherwise. According to Statista, “In 2021, 91.9 percent of U.S. marketers in companies largest than 100 employees were expected to use social media for marketing purposes. In 2013, the share stood at 86.2 percent”. (Marketing, 2022)
BENEFITS OF DOING BUSINESS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
Following are listed the chief advantages a businessman can gain via social media:
- INCREASED MARKETING AND PROMOTION:
Businessmen ceaselessly look for ways to promote and advertise their products or services. Express gratitude to the technology and the development of social media platforms that have relieved them from spending thousands of dollars to just inform the customers about sales growth, new and exclusive promos, and unveiling of a new product. For example, social advertising platform Facebook Marketplace allows users to buy, sell and trade items with customers. You can reach a percentage of your customers to promote your business by sharing your services through blogs, videos, and posts etc.
For all the right reasons, brands use social media in their marketing plan and strategy. From influencer marketing to story ads, they are trying it all. Social media enables brands to access low-cost marketing, communicate with their customers, and establish brand loyalty.
About 73% of marketers are of the opinion that their efforts through social media marketing have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business (Buffer, 2019).
- INCREASED SITE RANKING:
Social media ramps up the volume of user traffic visiting your site, which is an important factor in determining your search engine’s ranking. If your site has attracted plenty of users to stick around for a while and finish watching the entire video or post, you can earn links back to your site after sharing your content links on social media platforms. It is pertinent to mention that links are imperative to your search engine rankings and one of the essential factors in organic search ranking.
- INCREASED BRAND AWARENSS:
When a business owner generates a meaningful and substantive dialogue with his potential customers, it helps in bolstering the brand awareness, educating the targeted audience about the kind of services, and eventually persuading them to give your business precedence over your competitors.
- INCREASED MARKET REACH
Social media enables a businessman to broaden and expand his market base and reach from the local to the international market.
- IMPROVED WAY OF DOING BUSINESS
Social media platforms provide a plethora of ideas to be exchanged between the owners and customers to improve the way of doing business.
- SKILLED STAFF RECRUITMENT
There will be plenty of individuals equipped with professional skills reaching out to the businesses recruiting the staff through job networking sites like LinkedIn. Thus, social media connects the employer with skilled and competitive job seekers.
- POSITIVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
One of the ways that a business could benefit from social media marketing is by delivering the best possible customer service. The aim is to manage your online presence and ensure that you communicate with your audience through social media platforms. Responding to comments, mentions, and messages fall under this category. 71% of customers who have had a positive or good experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend it to their friends and family (Lyfemarketing, 2018). By communicating with customers through social media platforms, they will notice that you care. This action might go a long way towards establishing positive relationships with customers.
Writer: Hira Ejaz