By Beatrice Whelan, Social Media & Content Specialist at Sage
I get asked a lot of questions about social media. Many business owners are skeptical about the benefits of social media and want to know how they can implement and measure social media for their business. That’s one of the reasons that we decided to produce a free guide for those that are starting out or are already using social media for their business, but still have lots of questions.
Seven out of ten businesses in Ireland are already using social media to connect with customers. Of those that are using social media 70% use Facebook, 61% Twitter and LinkedIn and 44% use YouTube (source – AMAS State Of The Net). Other popular social media channels being used include Google+, and Pinterest. Boards.ie is also a very popular forum in Ireland, although one that is sometimes overlooked by business owners. Search for your company name or product or service offering on boards.ie to see what people are saying about your company or what questions they are asking about the type of product or service that you provide.
Social media is not just for B2C companies. From my own experience I know that social media can work in a B2B context. We asked various accountants in Ireland if they had found Twitter useful for their business and many gave us lots of examples of how they had secured business from their activities on Twitter.
So what can social media do for your business? Among other benefits, social media can;
- Increase brand awareness for your company or organisation
- Increase your ‘share of voice’ online or on a certain social media channel
- Improve your visibility in search engines
- Increase traffic to your website from social media channels
- Create strategic relationships with a network of people such as journalists, target customers or potential partners
- Lead and sales generation
- Build a database of prospects that you can then contact via email marketing
- Customer retention and an enhancement of your customer service offering
Our free guide to social media covers the following topics;
- Creating a social media plan
- Gaining insight to improve customer relations
- Managing your reputation online
- Using social media to drive traffic to your website
- The five steps to getting started
- Developing a content publishing plan
- Creating social media profiles
- Measuring the results of social media for your business
- Social business and social CRM
- Social media checklist
Download the guide here and let us know what you think in the comments below.