Is Social Media A Business Necessity?

There are many aspects to running a modern business, from marketing and advertising to hiring staff and keeping accurate accounts. Although difficulties in raising funds for expansion have been exacerbated by the credit crunch, many companies looking for credit can now search for business loans at moneysupermarket.com.

Marketing has also changed, as a result of the advent of social networking. Social media feels like it’s everywhere at the moment, with the likes of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook making headlines and receiving millions of hits per day. There’s an expectation that all businesses will now have to include social media in their marketing plans.

Advantages

Social media can be a way for a business to reach out to new consumers and clients. Social networks are useful for communicating with people all over the world in a relatively simple manner. New contacts can be made simply by maintaining a prominent social-media profile.

As a result, leads can be generated and sales made without a huge expenditure of money or energy. The business simply maintains a social-media presence and the outside world comes to them. Contacts accumulate and the business owner’s network can expand through websites such as LinkedIn. Other organizations, such as news outlets, may also use social media to get in touch with you and this is a good way to get some positive coverage.

This networking doesn’t have to be on an ad-hoc basis. It can be built into a kind of online community, with businesses regularly using their social-media outlets to talk to consumers and to answer concerns and queries. When potential customers initially find your business, social-networking sites are another tool in your arsenal to educating them about what you do and how you can create value.

Social-media marketing or advertising methods are ideal in that they relatively cheap and easy to set up initially. Of course, you need to invest time to make it work, but reviewing the tools and options available to your business shouldn’t take long. It is not difficult to acquire knowledge about how social media works, although in a rapidly changing technological landscape it is important to keep up to date.

Most people today will expect a company to be involved in social media. It has become a necessity. If you avoid it, you run the risk of suggesting that your business is behind the times and difficult to interact with.

Disadvantages

Although social media is easy to get involved with, you can’t just spend a few hours on it and hope for the best. Creating a profile and then abandoning it after a few months can be worse than never trying it at all. Be prepared for a long-term investment of time and effort. Using social media also needs a strategic plan, as with any other aspect of a business.

A big worry for many companies is the exposure to negativity that social media can generate. You can invite the public to comment on your business and responding to these criticisms can require delicate handling. Your profiles on websites may contain many negative comments, but you should see this as a chance to engage with consumers and hopefully improve your customers’ experiences of your business.

 

This article was written by a financial expert, Sam, who compares credit cards, loans and business loans at moneysupermarket.com

 

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