Ask any person who has been in business a long time and they will tell you that the business landscape has changed drastically. Things that a company could get away with 20 years ago, such as not having a website, would be unthinkable to most companies today. Another thing that has become vitally important to businesses today is having a presence on social media. But just why has having a presence on social media become so important for businesses and companies?
Everyone’s on Social Media
Social media has become such a dominant communication tool around the world that no one can ignore it–not even the largest corporations. In fact, it’s estimated that about 5 billion of the nearly 8 billion people on the planet use social media in some form. With an audience that big, why wouldn’t companies want to have a presence on social media?
Social media has also become a communication tool that’s able to transcend language and culture. Today, companies are global, and they often want a way to reach people around the world at a cost that they consider reasonable or even at no cost at all. Using social media is a great way of doing this because it can be inexpensive and even free. And the content can be devised in a way that translates to all cultures.
Interaction with Customers
Social media also gives businesses a chance to interact with customers like no other medium. While phone calls and email messages can feel disconnected and impersonal, there’s something about communicating through social media that makes people feel included and as if they are a part of something bigger.
Businesses love this because it helps to endear them to customers. By interacting with companies through social media, customers often feel as if they have some influence on the business and as if they matter. The feeling is even stronger if the company interacts with them. How many people have approached businesses through social media who would never consider writing them a letter or even emailing them?
Marketing Has Moved Online
Back in the old days, companies relied on billboards, newspapers, magazines, and TV ads to get the word out about their products, but a lot of advertising has moved online and, more specifically, to social media sites. The great thing about the internet is that it doesn’t matter if it’s Kansas City social media marketing or online marketing from Mumbai, the audience can be the world.
Also, although larger companies may continue to advertise using traditional methods, advertising on social media can be a lifeline to smaller companies or those just starting out because online marketing is so much more cost-effective than traditional marketing. It also gives companies the ability to easily switch gears if one type of online marketing isn’t working.
Businesses Are More Socially Aware
In addition to being a place where people can go to catch up with friends and family, social media is increasingly becoming a place where people rally around social causes and political issues. And since more businesses are choosing to take a stand on social and political matters, it only makes sense for them to have a presence on social media.
At one point, businesses stood on the sidelines when it came to issues that are divisive or controversial, but now, more businesses are willing to take their chances and come down on a particular side. This does a lot to help companies get away from the idea that they’re just money-making entities and helps reinforce the idea that they have a conscience.
Over the past 20 years, social media has gone from being something considered light-hearted entertainment to something that many businesses depend on for their well-being. Social media is important to businesses because most people around the globe use it, it connects them to their customers, marketing has moved online, and companies have become more socially and politically aware.
Considering the benefits, it’s pretty clear that businesses will have a strong presence on social media for the foreseeable future.