Immediate Response to Customers
With more and more companies making use of social media responses to customer inquiries or complaints can be almost instantaneous. The vast majority of Twitter users expect a company to respond to them when they Tweet. This can mean addressing a concern within the hour. There were almost a billion customer complaints lodged on social media in 2014. It’s the smart company that responds quickly to solve problems.
Social Influences Buying
The importance of an active social media presence is going to go a long way toward conversion. Studies show that more customers decide to make a purchase based on social media than on your website alone so this cannot be overlooked or taken lightly. All of the major social sites have implemented ads in various formats. Engagement is a key concept here and the more engaged (and the more opportunities for engagement) translates into increased sales.
TV ads are prohibitive for smaller companies and conversions can be scattershot but video is cheap (think youtube) and with outlets like the Twitter-owned Periscope growing by leaps and bounds, streaming a live video can put you in the same league as huge companies. It’s simple to broadcast from your own mobile device. You increase brand awareness but can also engage with customers. There’s a realness to a live video that a staged and scripted commercial can’t match and your iOS- or Adroid-using customers can view what you’re streaming. Meerkat is another such service worthy of investigation.
Regardless of your use of social media, the starting point is your business website and it needs to be visible. Sure, social helps this (a lot) but nothing substitutes for correct, relevant content on your site. Google demands relevancy over everything and this is where search engine optimization comes in. A website is not good enough. The content you have is critical. Not enough and the big G thinks you’re not relevant. Wrong content (i.e., doesn’t contain the things your customers are searching for)? Same thing. A complete internet marketing campaign must include SEO. Without a page one ranking you’re going to be invisible. Virtually all traffic comes from a page one ranking. Anything lower is worthless.
SEO will also address technical issues that Google takes into account like mobile friendliness, page load times, bloated code and others. With mobile searches overtaking desktop, being mobile friendly isn’t just a good idea. In fact, it will prevent you from moving up to that top spot.
With good social signals you can drive customer traffic to your site, but the user experience must be optimized, too. Once a customer lands on your site their visit needs to be intuitive and free of impediments. With Google Analytics installed, you’ll be able to view customer paths on your site, where they drop off in the buying process or identify elements that may be frustrating them.
Bottom line, the avenues for customer interaction and appreciation are open more widely than ever and the savvy business owner will take advantage of them. At the very least an optimized website and an active social presence will go a long way to greater visibility online and trust by the people you want to purchase your product or service.