In the U.S., social media is used by over half the population – 158 million people – a stunning new development in our culture and history. As such it poses a tremendous opportunity for ecommerce companies to connect with the market, create active dialogs around their brands, and develop rapport and familiarity before giving prospects a direct sales pitch. Wise use of social interaction is now a very effective way to condition the market, thus paving the way for sales.
Smart Ways Businesses use Social Networks – Here are just some of the ways today’s smart businesses are using social networks, social data, and interaction to deliver better online visibility, and improve their bottom line:
Moreover, effective integration of social media affords the opportunity to strengthen and expand relationships, gain attention and influence, improve access, and deepen your understanding of customer preferences and decision drivers. With these new communication channels you can be much better positioned to compete.
This is especially important because many of today’s customers do their homework about products and services they’re interested in, and the companies they’re considering doing business with. They’re quite proficient in online research, especially via social networking sites; increasing numbers are already informed and well prepared by the time they actually begin interacting directly with an online provider. Consequently, any business selling online should build its content-management strategy with these customer capabilities in mind.
Because its use is now pervasive, social media is rapidly gaining stature an essential “information generator” and “information monitor” for savvy business web properties. It’s a fact that our world is filled with people who love to chatter and share, and dig for information. The more our chatter-loving fellow citizens talk about a company, the more visible that company and its brands become. In this brave new world, enterprises can quickly seize the day and transform themselves while better controlling their identity within the market, or ignore reality and slowly (or not so slowly) find they’ve become invisible or irrelevant. It’s simply a choice: manage social-media interfaces and tools wisely, or poorly. Either way, outcomes are affected. That’s how big social media is for business today.
Ecommerce companies are now able to lead customers to explore products and brands, which streamlines sales by leveraging customer interests and curiosity. By navigating effectively within online environments that broad segments of the market trust and use daily, ecommerce companies foster familiarity. They are then more readily embraced.
To reach a lot of users and build an online reputation, social networking is an essential tool. A business’ web platform must be designed to engage and inform as many users as possible. To do this it must work seamlessly with social-media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and others –and be capable of automatically integrating your site’s content with search engine optimization functions, RSS feeds, and social-media sharing options. This keeps your users engaged and informed and sets the stage for your content to “go viral.”
When properly optimized, social media can increase user activity exponentially; while beneficial, this often becomes a challenge. When user activity increases very rapidly it’s really important to have the tools at hand to govern a high-performance social media platform and control dialog, like those offered by Adrecom’s CMS Suite. The system must be scalable and able to maintain system performance as the number of social contributors climbs, and regardless of the pace of that growth.
The range of social media connectivity options will continue to expand. A simple link to your business-Facebook or Linked-In pages is a great starting point. From there your organization can deploy forums, polls, commenting tools, rating features, and conversation monitoring. With a little focus and the right tools, you can create vibrant conversations about your products and brands, and learn a lot more about your market community.