Social Media and its global Influence on Businesses

With the world engaging more and more in social activities, it is challenging for businesses to overlook social channels in any manner.

Consider that there are now almost over 3 Billion people using Social Media networks across the globe and these people are using these platforms to engage with brands.

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Let’s look at some key factors where social media influences business activities and business performances:

Building Brand Awareness-

Social Media platforms are great for businesses to reach out specially to new targeted customers/demographic that your brand is addressing as it raises brand awareness. Global Social communication is enabled with just one/2 clicks on most social platforms. Brands can also steadily build their personality with regular content posts and reflect their brand values to the world.

60 percent of Instagram users say they discover new products/brands on the platform.

Humanising your brand-

More than half of adults do not trust a brand until they see “real-world proof” that the brand is keeping its promises. Brands that show their human side build more connectivity with their followers and customers.

What are your brand values? (Do you even have brand values?) How are you looking out for the best interests of your customers and employees? Does the product/service really work? Meaningful relationships are built when the world gets to see that

The people working for the brand/company are truly vital and joyful. When existing customers are showcased using the brand’s products/services in a beneficial manner.

Consistent and Persistent social media advocacy not only humanizes the brand but also brings in the desired audience.

Your Brand as a thought Leader-

Social media now bring immense opportunity to establish your brand as a thought leader no matter which industry—the advantage to become the go-to source for information on topics related to your niche.

This practice also builds deepens and fosters customer trust.

In fact, most brand CMOs and marketing professionals underestimate just how much thought leadership impacts purchase/use of services via the Trust channel. LinkedIn research in partnership with Edelman shows that about half of B2B marketers surveyed believed their thought leadership would build trust in their companies. However, more than 80 percent of buyers said thought leadership builds trust.

It also found that 63 percent of people trust technical experts, compared to only 42 percent of people who trust businesses.

Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes for example has more than 1.5 million followers on Linkedin, where he shares his insights about social media and entrepreneurship.

Social Media for Communication-

A- Reputation management

One of the main advantages of social media platforms is to be able to firefight in real time when your brand’s reputation is at stake. If your brand has already been engaging with its audience, then your customers are already talking about you on social media, whether or not you’re there to respond. If you and your team are on the ball, you can pick up on important social posts about your brand to highlight the positive and address the negative before it blows up into something uncontrollable.

Is someone saying something about your business that’s not true? Be sure to share your side of the story in a polite, professional way. Someone singing your praises? Send them plenty of thanks and draw attention to their kind words.

B- Crisis communication

When a Philadelphia Starbucks store had two black men arrested, the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks went viral, and fast. The hashtag was used more than 100,000 times in just three days. That is officially a crisis.

Starbucks, to its credit, responded quickly.

After this first apology, the company followed up with several more statements on social media, and announced that it would close all of its stores for a day of racial-bias training. It remains to be seen what the long-term effects of this incident will be for the Starbucks brand, but the consequences would almost certainly been worse if the company had not responded quickly and appropriately on social media.

How effective is your company when it comes to crisis management? Smaller brands can often contain it quickly as the attention on it is not huge even though Yes in a tight knit community or niche they can have a huge impact. But for bigger brands to manage in cases where Social media takes it viral all across can be a matter of life and death. Negative comments on Social Media must always be responded to no matter how nasty they are. It shows the willingness of the brand and its team to own up, take responsibility and also express their side of the story thus opening the space up for people’s perspectives to have an understanding rather than a biased one sided opinion from the negative comments. It also shows that the brand is courageous enough to face adversity no matter what!

Great Customer Insights, Superb Customer Service, Increasing Web traffic, Generating Leads and Boosting Sales, Brand Connectivity are some other main aspects that are greatly affected when Social media is not just used but understood as a medium, not abused but valued in terms of what it can offer and what your brand can offer to the world in return.

Finally businesses that do not embrace Social media face the danger of extinction in the sense that the chances to connect engage and experience with a diverse range of people is not possible.

In the times we live in- there has been a markedly huge disconnect no doubt between each other when it comes to communication- but Social media is merely a tool and only has the power that we give it.

It has brought great change in our lives, and is one of the most cost-effective business tools but it also brings great harm and we must be aware of this at all time.

Brands + Humanity can bring great reform via this specially when we learn to discern and read social media posts/content that can harm society or elevate no matter who is doing the talking or sharing of content.

Are you going to lead this change? Are you a leader or a management consultant or a company that would like to know more on how to bring about a model that is capable of bringing this future to the present. If so get in touch with us. Our brand founder and author of this blog Chetan Jha is leading not just change but also innovation across the board through best practises that echo compassion understanding and reflection. To know more, email us: [email protected]

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