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The Importance of Social Media

Who can use Social Media?

Organisations of all sizes can gain visibility and brand credibility by using social media platforms. There are several leading Social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube that can help you interact with your customers, communicate special offers, and market products. By conducting interactive contests, polls, discussions, and so on, you can greatly increase the level of communication between you and your customers. 

Benefits of Social Media for Organisations

  • Customer Service and Feedback: Providing support to your customers is vital to the success of any business and social media is no exception to the rule. When a person reaches out to you, whether their input is good or bad it is extremely important to respond in a timely and helpful manner. Social media provides the platform for customers to interact on a person to person level, so that they aren’t talking to a faceless representative over the phone or via email. Social media channels offer opportunities to interact with customers and build relationships, largely due to their real-time, interactive nature. Companies can source feedback, test ideas and manage customer services quickly and directly online in a way traditional media could not. 
  • Marketing and Promotion: Social media has a huge scope and enables companies to reach massive, targeted audiences and develop targeted marketing activities to these audiences. It allows companies to pitch products in a more human, interactive way, increase customer loyalty and trust, and engage the customer in the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of increasing awareness to current and potential consumer bases. 
  • Educational Asset: In any industry it is important to remain innovative in your field and find the best ways to continue the conversations about what you do. Staying ahead of the curve on a modern form of media can bring many advantages to your business. Social media provides your brand with a free source of constant information from other brands, media outlets, friends, co-workers and even your competitors. 
  • Research: Social media is a very cost-effective and efficient way to conduct market or customer research, improve insights about target markets, and identify new product or service opportunities. 
  • Increase Online Exposure: Social media helps in increasing your online exposure. The Google and Bing search engines pick up Facebook and Twitter posts and updates and includes them in search results. If your website is referenced in your Facebook or Twitter profile (and it should) people who visit your profiles can see and click your website link and be taken directly to your organisation’s website thereby increasing your traffic directly. Indirectly, these searches put extra eyes on your organisation name, your name, and/or your brand name. 
  • Build Trust and Credibility: Social media helps you build trust and credibility as customers want to engage with people they know, like, and trust. Using social media is a convenient, and even fun way to develop and cultivate relationships with your customers and prove your credibility and trustworthiness. 

How to get started?

To get started with Social Media, you need to have several strategies and keep in mind few important things. 

  • Objective: First, it is very necessary to have clear set of goals and objectives about what you want to achieve by using Social Media for your business like raising brand awareness, enhancing customer service, building your email list, and so on. Depending on your objectives you can select a Social Media network like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and so on. A company can have several objectives but it is also necessary to prioritise your objectives. 
  • Content Strategy: Depending on your objectives, it is also important to decide the content strategy for your social media in advance because this is how you are going to connect with your customers and new clients. The content should be selected carefully and should have potential to attract new people on your social media site i.e. it should be relevant to your business and at the same time interesting for general users. 
  • Promotion Strategy: After creating the social media site for your organisation, it is important to promote it so that people know about it and they connect to your page. 
  • Engagement Strategy: Once you start to get new followers and fans then it is necessary to allocate proper resources so that your page can be properly moderated and monitored as well as fans comments and queries can be answered in a timely manner.

Steps to setup a Facebook Page for a Business/Organisation

  • Choose the classification: The first step in creating a Facebook fan page is to choose the classification in which your business/organisation falls. Facebook offers 6 different types of classification – Local business or place, artist, band, or public figure, company, organisation, institution, Entertainment, brand or product and cause of community.

    After selecting the classification choose the category and the business/organisation name. This step is the most important part in creating a fan page as once the page is created this information can’t be changed and if for any reason you have to change the business/organisation name or category, the whole page has to be deleted and then you must start all over again. 
  • Basic Information: This includes adding a profile photo (in most cases it should be the business/organisation logo) then you will be prompted to add basic information like company website URL, brief biography about your company/organisation. Add information that you think is relevant to your business and will be helpful for your customers/clients.

    By clicking the ‘Edit Info’, you can add contact information, photos, more in-depth information about business/organisation. 
  • Using Facebook features: Facebook offers various features and it is wise to take advantage of features which include:
    • Invite your friends
    • Tell your fans
    • Status updates
    • Promote this page on your website
    • Set up mobile phone 
  • Presenting your business/organisation: After completing all the necessary steps you can start posting regular updates and relevant content to build up your fan base. It is crucial to interact with your fans on a regular basis by posting useful content, news and things about your business/organisation. 

    You can also measure the performance of your page by using the ‘Insight’ feature from Facebook. This feature is a very handy tool for tracking your page like how many people have liked your page in any particular day and you can also compare it with other days. There are additional features in this tool that you can check out. This feature is available on the right hand side bar on your page.
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