Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Yelp, Foursquare…you may have heard these names before and maybe even have accounts with them, but what can they do for you?  What are the benefits of using their services?

The main benefit of utilizing social media is cost.  A social media campaign can cost much less than a traditional print, radio, or television campaign.  Even one newspaper ad can cost you several hundred, if not thousands of dollars.  Social media, in comparison, costs a fraction for a much more effective solution.

Social media provides your company two way communications with your clients.  Traditional advertisements are broadcast to potential clients and the business owner has to sit back and wait for the response.  Questions clients have may be difficult to answer because they never make it back to the business.  Social media is a much more interactive medium.  With it, businesses can receive instant feedback from their clients and be able to converse with them.  This gives your business a very public way to show the costumers they are valued.  Even if public feedback is negative, the attempt by your business to respond to and address the issue can turn the negative into a positive.

People prefer to do business with other people rather than with a faceless corporation. Social media allows you to communicate with your clientele in a more personal way.  In social media, your clients are also your “friends”.

The more information potential clients can find out about your company, the more rapidly they will feel comfortable doing business with you.  The information can be in the format of website home pages that contain timely information, recent and frequent blog posts, recent client reviews on Yelp or other review sites, recent recommendations on Facebook or LinkedIn, current product catalogs on Pintrest, or any other information that shows recent company activity.  The greater the breadth and depth of information online about your company, the more comfortable in doing business with you a client will be.  In addition, having current information about your company on various sites along with a history of consistent updates will increase your company’s rank on search engines much more effectively than using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tricks.

Social media provides business owners with accurate and up to date reporting.  Search result success, impressions, and click throughs can be tracked and reports generated so businesses can assess the effectiveness of the campaign at any time, allowing a social media campaign to be adapted on the fly to suit client feedback or emerging trends.

In this article, I have shown the benefits of utilizing social media as part of an advertising campaign.  In my next one, I will illustrate the pitfalls of ineffective social media use.

George Kostopoulos
Orion Social Marketing