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Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013

Why Bother with Social Media?

Ever wondered what the big deal is with social media and how you can get started in it? This article is the first in our social media introduction series, so check back every week for more information to get you started on building your own social media presence!

Everyone knows that social media sites are popular nowadays. It seems like the younger generation is always on Facebook. But the question that many businesses (especially smaller ones) are struggling to answer is if it is worth it to try to build a social media presence for their company. Building yourself up on social media sites takes time and, depending on the methods you use, money. So what do you gain? Is it all worth it?

It’s important to realize exactly how big social media sites are. They are not a fad or passing interest. The average American social network user spends over 3 hours a day on social media sites. The coveted 18-34-year-old demographic spends 3.8 hours a day on these sites. Social media sites hold a huge grasp over peoples’ attention spans, and that makes them an important consideration for any business.

The first big benefit of a social media presence is that it makes your business seem omnipresent. This is especially helpful for smaller businesses that don’t have the marketing money or brand recognition of large corporations. With social media, you can easily connect with existing and prospective customers in a way that brings you closer to them. Instead of hoping that they hear that ad you put out, you can appear on one of the sites that they habitually check every day, making you a daily fixture in their lives. Not only does your presence on these sites make it easier for people to find you, but people that follow your page will see you often and, consequently, immediately think about you when they need the type of service that you provide.

Social media brings your company more directly into the lives of your customers. And when a person easily remembers your business when it comes to a certain service, which company do you think they’re going to recommend to any of their friends who have that particular need? Ultimately, people do business with people they know, and social media allows you to insert your business into that social circle. If someone is on Facebook and sees that several of their friends have liked the page of a certain business, that says something to them: people that they like and trust have a relationship with that company, which immediately raises that company up in their personal esteem. Social media provides an extension of the normal organic growth of reputation from word of mouth, and it’s the most valuable type of reputation that you can foster for a business.

Even if you ignore some of the unique benefits of social media sites, they still provide a big, basic benefit: another place to advertise. Social media sites have incredibly large user bases that can be leveraged with advertising. The real advantage to advertising on some social media sites like Facebook is that they allow you to specifically target your ad at particular demographics. This is an incredible tool, and being able to narrow down your advertising efforts to specific groups like 35-49-year-old-women who like to garden ensures that you get a lot of bang for your buck.

So why bother with social media? The benefits are huge and social media sites are clearly here to stay, so there’s no reason to not try to build at least a small social media presence for your business. Social media sites now form a core part of a successful company’s advertising plan. So if you’ve rejected social media before now, think about starting today and come back next week for our next social media introduction article.

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