Using Social Media for Business Is No Longer An Option
By: Kirti Dwivedi
Remember the good ol’ days when Facebook was a great way to connect with friends, both old and new, and Twitter enabled users to share what they had for breakfast? Well, those days still exist, but Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms have evolved to help business owners establish their brands online and reach out to current and potential customers in a way they never could before.
With more than 1 billion active users on Facebook and 500 million total Twitter users out in the digital universe, socialmedia is becoming more and more of a necessity for businesses, ranging from big corporations to your neighborhood coffee shop. Along with a clearly defined brand identity and proven marketing techniques, social media is a great way to boost your business, and make your community more aware of your brand. There are a number of your business can benefit from participating in social media outreach.
If you aren’t fully convinced of the benefits of being active on social media, here are some reasons why you should consider it.
Your Competitors are Using Social Media
Chances are your competitors are actively using social media. If people who are looking for your services and products aren’t finding your company, what are they finding instead?
Currently, fifty-eight percent of all companies are engaged in social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and platforms such as YouTube and Instagram. By not engaging on social networks, you’re providing your competitors with the opportunity to connect with and woo your potential customers away from your business.
More Affordable than Traditional Advertising
Social media marketing will not cost nearly as much as traditional advertising for your business. While it may not cost you anything to do it yourself, it will cost you your time and expertise. Depending on the value of your time, as well as your comfort level with using the appropriate social media platforms for your business, it may be worthwhile to hire someone to assist with the social media marketing.
However, keep in mind that social media should never be a stand-alone strategy—it should be a part of your company’s overall marketing strategy to help strengthen your brand identity online.
Your Company is More Accessible
Savvy consumers like to connect with companies that interact with their customers. Social media users spend more time on the Internet than other users, and they use this time to find information and get referrals about your products and services. They are looking for more about your company from a range of different sources, not just your website.
Social media gives you the unique ability to strengthen relationships with your existing customers, while serving as a gateway to finding new customers. Social media can be used to help facilitate customer service, obtain customer feedback, and market new products or offerings.
Not only can you answer customer service issues directly on Twitter or Facebook, which allows you to demonstrate your commitment to quality and your customers’ satisfaction to other users, but you can also monitor discussions about your company across network. As you find them, you can address them; and, in turn, increase customer satisfaction with your company.
Your Customers Are On Social Media
Did you know? On average, 56% of customer tweets to or about companies are ignored. Wouldn’t you like to know what your customers are saying about your brand? Social media is an easy way to tune in and find out!
You can also find out exactly what your customers want by allowing them to play an active role in your business. Let the public offer suggestions, tell you what they like, and they may inspire an idea for a service or product that you not have thought about.
Increase Traffic to your Website
Your social networking profiles provide a tool for driving traffic to your company’s website. By posting relevant information with links to your site, it can increase your page rank and drive more traffic to your site.
Customers don’t want to spend much time searching for your business, and social media can help. Top social sites consistently rank high in Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. If you want to be relevant, you need to have a social media presence in order to come up in these searches.
Social Media Is Not a Fad
As of December 2012, 67% of adults who are online utilize social networking sites, and the number increases daily.
Social media is becoming increasingly prominent in our daily lives, and as a business owner, you need to be on it and work to connect with your customers. At this point, ignoring social media can negatively impact your business, as many social media-savvy consumers have a difficult time trusting or doing business with a company that is not active on any social media platforms.
The reasons above are just a few of the possibilities to develop relationships with existing clients, attract new clients to your business, and be more visible on the internet.As a business owner, you probably already an overwhelming number of responsibilities to keep your business running smoothly, and the thought of adding social media to that mix may seem overwhelming. Work closely with your marketing strategy, and remember that each platform brings a different value to your company, and not everyone is suited for every brand.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”