Social media is a double-edged sword. Positive publicity can increase your sales, while negative publicity can tarnish your company’s image. Regardless, social media has become one of the leading channels for marketing and advertising, and its use has become a necessity if you want your business to remain visible and stay competitive.

Social media has changed the way we live and the way we do business today. For businesses, social media provides an opportunity to broaden customer reach, increase sales, advertise and promote products and services, and create brand awareness.

From the customer’s standpoint, social media makes it much easier to communicate with a business about their experiences, good or bad. Oftentimes, a customer will turn to social media to voice their dissatisfaction about a company or brand, be it a product or service. The business can quickly respond to any feedback and deal with customer problems, as well as maintain, regain or rebuild customer confidence in their brand.

Important Social Media Platforms to Consider

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

There are also various tools that exist to enhance certain features of social media platforms. These tools help businesses market and advertise their brand more effectively.

Examples of Social Media Tools

  • Buffer
  • Sprout Social
  • Socialdrift
  • Hootsuite
  • MavSocial

Another tool to consider, which can help you stay ahead of competition is Commercient’s IoT Pulse, which connects your ERP to over 815 apps. These include Facebook, Instagram, Buffer and more. It also connects to marketing apps, eCommerce and email. To find out more about IoT Pulse, and how it can grow your business, contact Commercient today!

The use of social media has relatively low costs, and it can help you reach a large audience almost instantly. But it does have its pros and cons.

Pros of Using Social Media

  • Relatively low marketing costs.
  • Increase brand awareness and sales.
  • Increase website traffic and improve rankings on search engines.
  • Cost effective lead generation.
  • Opportunity to build customer relationships.
  • Opportunity to conduct market research about your customers.
  • Improve networking.

Cons of Using Social Media

  • Risk of bad publicity.
  • Additional resources may be required to manage your online presence
  • Requires regular monitoring.
  • It will not add value to your business if you don’t actively manage your social media presence.
  • Risk of unwanted or inappropriate behavior from social media trolls.
  • Increasing online exposure has the potential to attract risks, such as information leaks or hacking.

Maintaining a social network requires time, effort and someone to manage your company’s social media presence. If you’re going to put a social media icon on your website, make sure you actively engage with your fans and followers on a regular basis.

Don’t make it all about you. A mistake that businesses often make is to use social media to talk about what is important to them, rather than what is important to the customer. The goal should be to provide content that is compelling and relevant to your followers so that they will want to share it with their social networks.

If you’d like to learn more about Commercient’s IoT Pulse and our other apps, please contact us today. Please also follow our social accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and YouTube.

About the Author

Anna Kinnear is a Sage Financials Consultant at Edgeware, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting Science from the University of South Africa. She has always had a passion for reading and writing.