3 Big Ways Social Media Has Changed Business
Updated: Aug 29, 2018
Since its inception around 11 years ago, social media has come a long way. We’ve all seen The Social Network and know the history of Facebook. It started as a little revenge project of Mark Zuckerberg to rate female students at Harvard University. It then transformed into a way for people to stay connected through the Internet. Facebook garnered millions of users throughout the years. Then in came Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn -- and the rest is history.
Now, there are 2.77 billion people on social media platforms. It is no longer just a way to keep in touch with loved ones. It has evolved into something so much more. Businesses have tapped into the opportunity to capture social media users, therefore widening their reach. On Facebook alone, there are over 60 million small businesses actively connecting with their customers. 70.7% of businesses in the United States are on Instagram. Needless to say, social media has changed the way we do businesses. Here are 3 important ways social media has changed the way we do business:
The Power of Data
One of the most invaluable benefits social media has brought to business is the power of data. Businesses now have access to insight about their customers that was not possible before. Pre-social media, advertising, sales letters, and print were some of the common ways to reach your customers. However, there was no insight gained by the business. Who are your customers? What avenue was the most effective? What part of your message drove the sale home? Now, you can learn more about your customers, their preferences, the efficiency of your ads, and more, all with a click of a button. This valuable information is by far the biggest benefit that the evolution of social media has brought to your business. It helps you refine and adjust according to what your data provides about your customers, allowing you to really penetrate your target market. Because of this, targeting advertising truly becomes a reality.
Communication with Customers
If data and analytics were the most impactful effects of social media, communication is not far behind. Customer service is one way that businesses have utilized social media for customer satisfaction. In the past, the most common ways to get through to customer service representatives were by walking into a physical office or waiting on hold for an agent to speak with you over the phone. This is inconvenient for the customer and heavy on resources for the business. With social media, businesses are able to offer real-time, around-the-clock service with just a Facebook profile. Telecoms and network providers do a particularly good job at leveraging this opportunity.
Customer engagement is another way that social media has changed the dynamics of communication for businesses. Brands are now able to interact with their existing and potential customers through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This helps foster a level of intimacy between business and patron.
Increasing a Brand’s Footprint
The rise of social media has unlocked the ability of small businesses to go global, and this is because of visibility. To get a most basic idea of this, let’s imagine a small business in Florida that specializes in handmade leather goods. Before social media, they would be limited to customers locally. They would need to rely on either word-of-mouth or spending on advertising for reach a wider market. With social media, they are able to increase their footprint exponentially. They can reach customers in California or even overseas with minimal cost. Through direct messaging, they are able to engage with customers in different time zones. To say that social media has contributed to globalization is not as far-fetched as one might think.
The inception of social media has changed the dynamics of business. It can offer so much for so little. The tools are there. Use it, maximize it, and profit from it.
If you'd like to find out more information about social media and how to utilize it for your business, or if you'd just like to speak with an expert, feel free to contact me.