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5 Reasons My Business Needs to Be More Social

social-media-communitiesSometimes it seems that social networking sites have taken over the Internet. Just about every website features Facebook and Twitter buttons, and it’s not hard to see why: a huge segment of Internet users visit social media sites every day. If you’re not using social media to promote your business, you may be all but invisible online — especially if your competitors are running a successful social media campaign.

Here are five reasons you should consider creating a social media presence for your business:

1. Your Customers are There

Facebook says its number of active monthly users surpassed one billion in October of 2012. Twitter’s numbers are pretty healthy, too — they passed 200 million active users in December 2012.

It’s very likely that a large percentage of your customers use social media every day. By creating your own profiles and interacting with them, you can keep your name in their minds, even when they’re just socializing.

2. Build Your Brand

Social media is an excellent way to build and solidify your brand identity in customers’ minds. It allows you to show your company’s personality and style, and helps you build a recognizable voice.

By staying active on social media and doing regular searches for your company’s name on Twitter, you’ll be able to monitor consumer attitudes toward your business. This can help you boost confidence (when you thank a customer for a good review, for instance) or address complaints in a friendly manner.

3. Building Trust

The more you engage with your customers, the more they will come to trust you – especially if you consistently offer them something of value, like great information.

Get involved on social media sites, answering questions that relate to your industry or sharing news items your customers will find interesting. You can also run social media promotions, such as a contest in which the person who gives you the most retweets wins a discount or free gift.

4. Website Traffic Boost

This boost can be huge. Creating a funny video about your company or products that ends up going viral can bring you millions of visitors — which can translate into a major bump in sales.

Even without a viral video or post, social media can help your search engine rankings by giving you lots of natural links back to your site. The best way to encourage people to share your content (and give you those important links) is to create content that’s interesting, informative, and/or entertaining. The more people share your content, the more link love you’ll get from the search engines.

5.  Cheaper Than Current Marketing

Traditional marketing is expensive. From print ads to TV and radio spots to brochures and flyers, traditional marketing methods can quickly eat up your budget.

Social media, on the other hand, costs you nothing more than your time, or the time of the employee you task with the upkeep of your profiles. You can reach a wider audience, and help boost word of mouth advertising, without spending a fortune.

Social media usage is growing, and businesses are starting to see its value in terms of reaching customers and building their image. If you’re still stubbornly resisting the trend, you may be missing out on sales — and your competitors may be leaving you in the digital dust.

About the Author: Angie Mansfield is a freelance writer covering topics and people of interest to consumers and small business owners. Her work covers things like small business management and Gary Crittenden.

Image Credit: social media communities.

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