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Let’s get real for a minute. If your business is not on social media yet, you’re already failing pretty badly. Yes, it’s true that not all social media platforms are right for all businesses, but if you are not at least on Facebook and/or Twitter, I don’t even know what to say to you.

However, just being on social media does not guarantee that it is doing anything for your business. You need to first understand what social media can do for your business and how each platform works. Then you need to have a strategy for how you will engage with your audience, handle customer complaints, drive sales, and track progress.

We live in a social media driven, high-paced, mile-a-minute, give-me-info-now world and you need to make sure you don’t get lost in all the noise. So you need to learn how to stand out, become a resource, and connect with your fans.

Here are just a couple reasons your brand needs to get on social media and actually use it.

1. Connect With Your Customers

Social media allows your brand to let people into your world. It is such a powerful tool when utilized correctly. By connecting with your customers, your brand can build an intimate relationship with them. By letting them see your brand and your people on a more intimate level, you can create a connection that turns a sales pitch into a recommendation from a friend. Think about it: what generates a more positive response from you, a sales pitch or a friend telling you what they love? Social media allows your brand to become your customers’ friend. When done correctly, you can sell anything you want without your customers ever feeling like they’ve been sold.

2. Customer Service

We have become so accustomed to getting what we want so quickly we don’t even know how to handle waiting. Think about the last text you sent to a friend. If you didn’t get a response in 2 minutes, you were probably freaking out and annoyed from waiting. Now put yourself in your customers’ shoes. You just had a bad experience and decided to submit a complaint (hey, it happens). It’s been 3 hours and still no response?!?

By monitoring social media your brand can be ready to respond to any sort of complaint or concern. Social media gives your brand the ability to handle issues within minutes. Respond publicly so everyone sees that you care, then contact the concerned party and make it right. Take that resolution time from 3 hours to less than 30 minutes. THAT is customer service.

Need some tips on handling customer complaints on social media? Check out my earlier post, Dealing with Customer Complaints on Social Media

3. Increase Web Site Traffic

Using social media strategically, and staying active with it, can greatly help boost your site’s search rankings. Google and Bing have both publicly admitted that twitter and facebook are a huge factors in search results. Make sure your social sites are connected with your brand’s official site (or Home Base as I like to call it!). Keeping both connected and linked will allow your social media activity to influence your site’s credibility in searches. Staying consistent and active is key. If you have 15 social media profiles linked to your Home Base, but 10 of them haven’t had any activity for 6 months, Google’s algorithms will assume they are irrelevant to a search and that will drive your site’s ranking down super fast.  A strong social media presence will not only increase your rank, but will undeniably increase site traffic, which will increase sales.

Convinced? Great. Go get social! But first, comment below or tweet @enimultimedia and let me know how your brand uses social media!