If you've been paying attention to social media as a branding tool, you know about its amazing ability to help you, and your company, to form relationships. These relationships help to ensure that you have customers that will think of you first during their purchase decisions.
Unfortunately, many businesses still have not taken the necessary steps to effectively use their social media. Many have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, but they use them strictly for self promotion. Status updates and tweets, which they use to let consumers know about new products and deals, are their primary concern.
The problem is that this way of thinking is outdated. It relies on a method of communication that travels in only one direction; from the business to the consumer. Social media, however, allows for much more. It is a place where two way communication is possible. Not only can a business communicate with its customers, but the customers have their say as well.
The key then becomes listening. It is absolutely necessary to be aware of what people are saying about your company or your product. It's really like free, and simplified, research. You see what people find favorable and attractive, as well as what they dislike. Based on this knowledge, you can make changes that will make a purchase more desirable.
Another benefit is that many customers are more likely to complain on social media. When this occurs, the source is easily identifiable. Since you know who has a problem, and what their problem is, you have a much better chance of responding properly.
Remember, social media can be a great marketing tool, but it must be used properly. This powerful medium should be used to form and maintain relationships.
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