Social media has long ago ceased to be just a trend. Over the last two decades, they have firmly planted themselves in our lives and become their integral part, playing a significant role in the way we communicate, discover things, find out about news and, of course, do business. The way businesses interact with their customers today is fundamentally different than it was in pre-social media era – and if you want to succeed you should understand what exactly it entails.
1. Customers No Longer Exist in Isolation
In the past, any interaction between a business and its customers has been mostly one-on-one, with rare exceptions. Today things are different – any interaction is for everyone to see. When you answer a client’s query to the customer support, or process a return, or solve his problem, you have to be ready for it to become known to the whole world. Your customers are no longer a collection of individuals that have nothing in common with each other – they are a community, and can act together as such, both for your benefit and otherwise, depending on how they perceive your actions.
2. Businesses Can Reach Customers Anywhere, Anytime
Traditional advertisements have very limited exposure – they are only visible for very short periods in very specific places. They are also prohibitively expensive, which automatically makes them inaccessible for many younger companies without impressive cash flow. Meanwhile, social media give you an opportunity to reach out to your customer base all the time. A person may or may not watch a particular show on TV, but you can safely assume that absolute majority of your customer base have social media accounts, and your ads have a much greater likelihood of reaching them this way.
3. Businesses Can Better Understand the Needs of Their Customers
Social media gives you an opportunity to keep an eye on your target customer base in their natural habitat and, therefore, get regular insights into their needs and expectations. If you manage to understand what they want from your business by listening to what they say about it, what they complain about, which wishes they express, you can better adapt your company to meet these expectations and get an advantage over the competition that neglects to do so.
4. Trading Gets Simpler for Non-Professionals
We all know that trading is complicated, especially if you enter this industry blind. It is rife with systems, subsystems, professional jargon, and many other aspects that serve as a turnoff for the newcomers. Many platforms are way too complicated for an average beginner trader to make any sense of. The results are obvious: mistakes, a high percentage of failure and hesitation to enter the market on the part of those who would otherwise be willing to do so. However, social media make trading much more accessible – trading through them helps simplify terms and conditions, and specialized trading communities offer help and support to struggling beginners.
5. Advertising Grows More and More Targeted
We are tantalizingly close to the stage at which customers will no longer be treated as typical representatives of this or that target demographic, but as personalities, each with his own set of likes, dislikes, preferences, and individual features. Social media collect much data about their users, and they let advertisers use it, which results in hyper-targeted advertisers. The ads you see aren’t selected randomly – they are based on your surfing history, and we are very close to the situation in which advertising algorithms will be able to predict your wants before you realize you have them at all.
6. Brand Monitoring Opportunities
With the help of media analytics platforms like Mention, it is possible to constantly be aware of everything that is said about your brand so that you can react accordingly and without delay. For example, a dissatisfied customer voices his feelings on Twitter, after which you can immediately reach out to him and offer a solution to his problem.
Social media brought about some of the most significant changes to the way we do business, and will most likely continue doing so. Following these trends is of paramount importance for everyone who wants to stay ahead of the game.