While we’ve been giving you plenty of specifics on certain applications in the world of social media, I thought it might be useful to pull the microscope back and talk more generally about how it can help your business.
This likely isn’t the first time you’ve heard about the proliferation of sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. In fact, we’ve been writing about it piecemeal throughout the week at this very blog. You can’t throw a rock at a national news outlet—which I’m not advocating, by the way—without encountering an article or five about how social media has exploded on the national scene.
It’s the role social media has played in business that we’re chiefly interested in here at Direct Capital. We’ve undertaken our own initiatives to improve the way we reach out to our customers, but the applications of Twitter and Facebook reach far beyond the world of capital lending. As this Lawn & Landscape article notes, it’s a low-cost, relatively low-energy way to market your services and products.
Consider this a brief primer on the world of social media as it intersects with business. We’ll be exploring it in more depth in the weeks ahead.
Real World Applications
Let’s say you own a restaurant. For the sake of this hypothetical situation, we’ll call it “Chez Hypothetical.” You can depend on word-of-mouth, fliers and your website, and those traditional methods are not without their merits. The advantage of Twitter, however, is that you could use it to quickly reach a large number of people about special dishes, events and coupons. With that method, you can be sure the word is going to spread quickly.
Facebook is much the same. In keeping with the restaurant theme, one of my favorites in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, foobar, makes use of Facebook to announce live music and specials, reaching out instantly to the close to 900 people who choose to like it. Owner Dan LaCava said his restaurant has gone minimalist with his advertising, originally just posting a black square sign with the name foobar in the restaurant’s window before it opened to generate buzz, and social media fits into that mold.
“I’ve found that the new social media is probably the most effective of all forms right now,” said LaCava, who said it’s been a “good venue for us to get our voice out there.”
Another big benefit, according to LaCava? It only takes minutes to write up a concise post and get it out to hundreds, if not thousands of people.
Why It’s Worth Exploring
Frankly, the uses are limited only by your imagination and the scope of your business. As a sports blogger in my free time, I use Twitter to promote my writing and draw attention to the news of the day. That’s where the key lies: Keeping your customers updated on what’s going on at your business, promoting what you can offer your customers and doing so with a deft touch.
The only challenge is keeping your pages updated on at least a once daily basis and interacting with your customers. If you or one of your employees is well-versed in social media, you can hit the ground running. If the resources to do so are available, blogging can be a great way to reach your core audience in more detail than you can offer in the 140 characters of Twitter.
Of course, the best approach is often to use as many of them together as you reasonably can. You’ll attract audiences through Twitter you wouldn’t through Facebook, for example, and all of them can increase your website traffic and impressions of your company.
Tell us how you use social media in your business in the comments.
Photo credit to biewolf at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1146319