The Use of Social Media in Business
Social media is swiftly becoming a critical business tool because it offers numerous benefits to companies, enabling them to connect and meaningfully interact with their customers and gain the attention of their target audience. Studies indicate that the use of online resources allows firms to gain exposure, influence buyer decisions, increase website traffic, and gain market insights that make it possible to obtain a competitive advantage in the market (Husain et al. 22). An effective social media strategy might require investment, but it will have a positive effect on sales because it increases the overall exposure of organizations and their products, thus making goods and services reach a large number of consumers. Furthermore, it is effective in reputation management because business owners understand that negative comments from dissatisfied customers can cause significant harm to a firm. Consequently, social media use is a critical strategy for business survival and customer satisfaction.
There are numerous social media platforms that a firm could use to share information and market its products and services effectively. These include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other resources. Twitter is among the biggest social networks and sharing sites, with approximately 330 million active monthly users (Kellogg). It is a useful platform because it hosts a large number of users and it allows firms to connect with people online by crafting personalized messages that deliver critical information about products. A firm can join a Twitter thread, share its content, and join conversations surrounding a topic or product. Such features make Twitter increasingly useful as a stand-alone marketing tool that firms can use to generate product and service awareness.
Facebook is another critical tool in business because, similarly to Twitter, it has a large following of approximately 2.45 billion people (Kellogg). Thus, if a firm markets its products on Facebook, it is likely that the product will be visible to billions of people, which will increase potential sales. Furthermore, those businesses that use Facebook can easily target consumers based on specific demographics, reaching in this way their specific intended market. Facebook is relevant in most industries, and companies can invest in ads on this source in order to boost sales.
Instagram is one of the sharing platforms which allows firms to share creative photos that contain eye-catching visuals to the platform’s more than 1 billion subscribers (Kellog). Various influencers and product-based businesses thrive on this platform, ensuring that consumers can easily see how renowned personalities use certain products. Instagram is particularly beneficial for a company whose target audience is young consumers, who constitute a large part of the population. In this way, a business can reach numerous consumers who will text, post, caption a product, and even mention other users, thus generating more traffic to the site and its products.
However, businesses can face challenges in using social media for various reasons. This can happen when organizations utilize a platform without a clear formal strategy (Husain et al. 22). They join social media for fear of seeming too traditional, which means that they do not clearly determine what their message will be and who their intended audience is. Additionally, if the social media strategy is not effectively integrated into a firm’s other marketing strategies, there will be no cohesion and uniformity in the marketing message (Husain et al. 26). If a firm cannot build a high-quality community of followers by understanding its audiences, then its social media strategy will fail. It is therefore important for companies to understand the potential challenges and how to overcome them before implementing any social media strategy.
Social media is therefore a useful tool in business growth and sustainability. It can help firms increase brand reputation, reach a wider target audience, enhance web traffic, and improve communications with their customers. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide benefits in marketing, but businesses should also understand the potential challenges of social media use before proceeding to any online policy.
Husain, Sajjad, Ali Ghufran, and Dhani Shanker Chaubey. “Relevance of Social Media in Marketing and Advertising.” Splint International Journal of Professionals, vol. 3, no. 7, 2016, pp. 21-28.
Kellogg, Kristi. “Let’s Take a Look at Seven of the Biggest Social Media Platforms Today: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Reddit.” Search Engine Journal, 2020. Web.