WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESSES?
By Sara Sutton, Intern at The Digital Arts Experience
In this new age of technology and social development, many adults find and view social media to be a concept/forum for younger generations to explore and socialize; nothing more. With minimal understanding of the significance of its power and influence, it is immediately written off without realizing its true benefit to all people, not just the youth.
Social media is perhaps one of the best marketing tools to date. While it is true it has been expanding quite rapidly among a younger audience, social media has flourished into a very useful and popular device for communication. So how does it help or affect business? Through the use of social networking sites, companies are able to simply create a profile, share their information, and have people follow/keep up with the page in order to stay connected and in the loop. Creating any form of social media provides the business(es) the opportunity to share with the world what their company is about and how it can benefit their potential customers. Simply, it is an easier way to reach millions of people all at once.
There are so many social media sites to join that cater to specific needs of the person/people from purely business to social purposes and everything in between. Making your business move toward social media for promoting purposes can attract thousands of customers, since many people are on at least one social media site and can truly increase your company’s presence in the real world. Take LinkedIn for example. LinkedIn is one of the more professional, social media sites that is used today. It is used as an online forum to interact with other colleagues and professionals in the work force. You can post your resume and skill sets, build a professional profile allowing you to share your strengths and accomplishments with other companies, marketing either an individual or the entire company. It is an up and coming website used for those who are new or returning to the work force.
Instagram and Pinterest, two popular photosharing sites, allow the user to upload images and giving them the option to be edited or positioned to the user’s liking. Businesses that tend to focus more on their appearance or are simply a visual company would benefit greatly from these two apps/websites. Instagram, an application used slightly more on the social side, allows the user to document their life through pictures and sharing them on their personal profile. On the other hand, Pintrest can be used for a more artistic, professional cliental of people. Whether you’re advertising personal family photos are showing off a gallery of artwork, Pintrest expresses and advertises your interests just by the simple ‘pin’ of a post, linking back to its original post.
Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be used for marketing businesses as well. Facebook allows you to directly connect with others to conduct business or friendly conversation. For the business world, Facebook can be a very useful and practical tool. It allows you to post general information on your own page for all people to see, share private message in an inbox, and even share specific information on someone else’s “Wall”.
Twitter allows you to send short messages, about 140 characters worth, to relay your message to the followers you have. This is a convenient tool for companies promoting events in few enough words to grab the follower’s attention and to provoke curiosity, thus prompting them to look into the post for further details.
Creating a social media page not only contributes to how much attention the company receives, but it also gives it a personality. Instead of anonymous people working behind a desk, a social media page allows the individuals looking at the company in a different way and for the people to see that the company is living and breathing. In turn, this makes the company seem more appealing, drawing more attention and, hopefully, customers. There is a website for virtually any need, each of them establishing a sense of community and comfort among the users. These easy, navigable sites are truly designed to cater to all purposes, spreading information globally in a matter of seconds.
The common benefit that all of these different social media sites have is the ability to attract people to their business or service by sharing experiences and promoting themselves via textual and visual information, including photos, videos, podcasts, etc. putting their name on the map. What better way than to do so in the most popular forms of communication? The use of social media has certainly blossomed in a short amount of time, branching out of strictly recreational social purposes to more major concepts such as reaching businesses. It would be beneficial for businesses everywhere to participate and actively engage in social media.