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Ways to use social media to stay ahead

By Caryn Putman   |   06 January 2017   |   3:11 am

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Social Media is changing the way businesses work. The need for businesses to be on social media networks is more of a necessity than a choice. You, as an owner and entrepreneur, need to stay one step ahead if you are to reap better and more qualitative profits and benefit competitors. There are many ways in which you can leverage these new age mediums and tools to stay ahead of your competition.

Know your customers. When you start conversations on social media there is a huge opportunity for your brand to engage with customers and get to know them. The conversations can be one-on-one and you also have the chance to get to know your customers well. You can talk and promote deals; but keep in mind that you should also share content from other sources as long as it has to do with your brand and is of interest to your audience. Once you learn to speak the language of your customers, you will slowly be accepted as a brand. Once there is a connection they will be more likely to choose you over other options.

Reach out to new people – Social media enables you to reach out to new people, resources, and opportunities. When you engage with a customer, you indirectly engage with the hundreds and thousands of people on their network. This new reach is not always possible with conventional marketing and advertising methods. It now depends on how you engage with them by asking better questions so that post-engagement you are more aware of the way your customers think, and if you are lucky, they can also provide you new ideas about the way you should conduct your business, design your product(s) or serving them better.

Improve customer Service – Social media accounts are slowly becoming the most easily accessible first touch points for customers to reach out to brands. Ensure that your social media team is sensitive and is quick to respond to queries and complaints. There needs to be a system for free and accurate flow of information. If you have a talented and efficient team you can be on top of customer issues and there is nothing better than a satisfied customer. There are several tools too that can help you improve your customer service via social media.

Use the power of the #Hashtagm – Hashtags are very powerful aggregators, use them to your advantage. Amazon has been using #AmazonCart to its great advantage. By putting ‘#’ and ‘AmazonCart’ together the customer is automatically able to put the goodies in his virtual shopping cart with the help of his account on amazon website. There can be similar uses. You can use it to create awareness about a new scheme or you can promote a product with its help.

Use the right social media tools – In order to be a step ahead of your competitors as an entrepreneur you would do well if you learn about the most useful tools that can help you in advertising and marketing. There are a lot of free social media tools like Hootsuite, Everypost etc. that can help you organise your business on social media better. You can schedule your tweets, manage different social media profiles from one platform, get real-time data on the effectiveness of your efforts etc.

Be on a mobile platform – You need to develop good content to share on social media. While you are busy developing the world around your website, do not forget that the world of tomorrow will revolve around smart phones and mobile applications. Most businesses today are luring the customers in with special discounts, promotional codes and direct purchase links if a customer shops through their apps. Ensure that your marketing plans have a sound mobile platform strategy.

Convey Value and Build Trust – How do you build trust? How do you make customers believe that you are all about value? Start by communicating with them on a regular basis through social media. Build a rapport, attend to them sincerely, reduce the response time and solve their issues as soon as possible. Consistency and sincerity will help you create a valuable brand. Share your success stories with your followers and ask your customers and followers to share their experiences with your brand and business. Be ready to take criticism on the chin. Be ready to learn and improve. Every business has different requirements. Every entrepreneur has his own way of catering to those requirements. Social media throws up opportunities; the onus is on the entrepreneurs to make the most of the opportunities that will help them stay ahead of the competition.


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