It didn’t take long for business owners to figure out that social media was a great way to leverage their businesses. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are so popular in the business world that many consumers choose to research companies on these platforms before they visit their websites.

The influence of social media has grown to the point where many celebrities worth is measured by their number of Twitter followers. This spills over into the business world. So many business owners deem a large following on social media as extremely important because of the perception it gives off to the general public. So much so that it has caused some to go to the extreme measure of buying fans and followers for their business pages.

No one will argue the fact that social media is important but the question that many people have is “How does it affect a company’s bottom line?”

Damage control

Companies of all sizes are using social media as a form of damage control. Since so many people are tuned into social media at all times via their smartphones, it’s important that negative comments are handled immediately.

Companies understand that when people have problems and concerns about something, there is a good chance that they will talk about it on social media. Negative comments made on Facebook and Twitter can go viral and touch a large number of people in a short period of time.

To combat this problem and fix it before it gets out of hand, businesses now have employees in place monitoring their social media profiles. As soon as a comment is posted that could be perceived as damaging to the brand and the bottom line, someone responds and tries to rectify the problem.

Exposure

Exposure is one of the main benefits of a business being on social media. The buying process is very different from years ago. Consumers like to research and follow their favorite brands before, during and after they make purchases.

Staying active on social media and interacting with followers keeps a company’s brand relevant. Their followers will also be more inclined to become ambassadors for them. The more ambassadors a brand has will increase their exposure and reach.

Website Traffic

Even though a company’s webpage may be their most powerful tool, social media may be the thing that drives traffic there. If blogging is part of a company’s marketing strategy, making social media posts about the latest blog is a great way to increase website visits. This is all part of the nurturing process that takes place during the buying cycle.

Platforms

The number of social media platforms seems to grow on a monthly basis and marketers and business owners are finding unique ways to use them. Throughout the explosion of these platforms; Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are still the most popular choices for business owners.

Facebook

Facebook is by far the largest platform with over 1 billion users and it’s steadily growing. A Facebook fan page is easy to build and it allows users to incorporate many aspects of their business like their logo and contact information. Companies are able to improve their search engine ranking by adding their URL to their profiles.

Facebook has continued to expand throughout the years by incorporating an in-depth analytics section to help business owner see where improvements need to be made. The ability to track the number of subscribers, unsubscribers, visitors, ratio of male to female fans is a tremendous help as companies try to grow their fan base and gain clarity on their target audience.

Twitter

Twitter is a great platform for contacting clients, getting feedback and solving problems. The platform only allows users to input 140 characters, which is often times referred to as micro-blogging. The utilization of hash-tags has changed the way that people search. Business owners have found numerous ways to implement hash-tags to help leverage their business, whether it be through new promotions, contests or training.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the go-to platform for professionals. It’s the perfect platform for professionals to showcase their expertise. Business professionals also use this platform to keep up with the latest industry news and for training.

Conclusion

One thing to remember when it comes to social media is that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Often times new business owners get frustrated when they don’t get business from their social media efforts in the early stages. The truth of the matter is that it can take quite some time before you start reaping financial benefits.

A rule of thumb for social media is to not have more accounts than you can effectively manage. The idea that you have to be on every platform that comes out is false. Certain platforms may not be a good fit for your business. By sticking to the ones that you are most comfortable with will allow you to maximize the leverage your business will have.

Do you have tips or questions you’d like to share? Let’s connect using the comments section below.

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