With the increased use of social networks, businesses have to scale out plans to gain competitive advantage. Unlike in the past, companies had less interaction with their consumers, so they could sell what ever they thought consumers wanted which worked for some, but it also hurt many. With social media, a business can create a social interaction with its consumers and get to know what they like most. Below I have listed a few ways a business can use social networking to its advantage.
1. Take advantage of emerging social networks and increase your fan base: As a business, create a spirit among your employees to keep on hunting new emerging social networks and let them outline the benefits of that social network to wards the growth of your business. Most of these emerging social networks have a great potential of growing big, so when a business takes advantage such a network by becoming early adopters of the network , that business’s fan base will grow as the network grows, imagine companies which took advantage of facebook during its early stages, they have benefited more than the ones joining the network now.
Why? Because, when a network is still emerging, it is badly in need of loyal daily users, so they have less restrictions and the competition for users is less, because most business will jump to some thing after its massive growth. So when you take advantage of such emerging social systems, you will have a chance to win followers of your brand as the network grows, by the time they scale out new technologies to block some activities with in the network, your business will have scaled out and gained lots of loyal fans. Another good example is Pinterest.com, this emerged as a social bookmarking service and companies which jumped on the network gained lots of followers and their sales increased at less cost. As of now Pinterest has over 33 million users, but now their so many companies competing for this traffic, which means that spam is on its peak and Pinterest technology has to fight them down to keep the network natural. So if you jump into a social network at a latter stage, you will probably have to use money to get fans for your brand.
Related: Use of Technology In Marketing
2. Interact with your consumers directly: When a business scales out and gets fans on a social network, it has to use this advantage to interact with these fans in an entertaining manner. People come to these social networks to communicate and share with friends. So as a business, make sure that the content you publish on your social page, can be shared across the network. Also make sure, you dedicate someone to answer question and complaints on your social page. Let’s use this example. Nordstrom fashion store, uses its facebook fan page [www.facebook.com/Nordstrom ] to interact with its 1,667,376 fans, they keep their fan page up-to-date with trending fashion ideas, then fans keep on sharing these ideas. Look at the fashion image below. It has been shared 7,125 times and 147 people have posted comments on that particular images. In day Nordstrom can update its fan page with over 50 items
So Nordstrom knows what its fans want and they share that data with them, but the trick is that , on every fashion image uploaded on the Fan Page, it includes a link that will take fans to Nordstrom.com to purchase that item. All this is for free. If Nordstrom wants to reach out to more users on facebook who are not aware of their brand, they can pay facebook and select who they want to target. Then facebook will show their advert to those targeted users on Facebook.
So what is the lesson in this:
- Create a facebook fan page for your business
- Connect your facebook page to your business website so that visitors on your website can also come to your facebook fan page. The advantage in this is that, when user ‘’X’’ visits your website through search engines, they will also go to your fan page, when they like your fan page, facebook will show updates on your page in their data feed when ever you update your page. If they like the content published, they will send that content to their other friends on the social network and you will get more exposure for free.
- Create an advertising budget to promote your page on facebook so that you reach out to more fans.
- Update your fan page on a regular basis so that your fans keep on sharing and commenting on your data. Make sure you mix text with images to get better results. It is natural, people don’t want to read but they will spend more time on an image or video.
- Have a special person to answer customer complaints, because , they will post them on the page, so to look natural and active, reply them in time.
- Hold contests on your fan page , try companies like woobox.com , to create social contests
- Be patient, social networks like facebook or twitter , will deliver results in the long run not in the short run, so if you don’t see results quickly, don’t give up.