Fast forward almost 10 years—now it’s rare to find a company not on Facebook. And it’s not only Facebook that companies are flocking toward. Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, SlideShare, Pinterest… the list goes on and on, and companies are continually finding new ways to use these networks. But what if your business isn’t on it yet—why would executives want to spend time and money on social media? What’s in it for their businesses?
- Social media helps businesses shape relationships with current clients. With nearly 1 billion individuals and more than 42 million active pages on Facebook, and more than 500 million Twitter users, chances are that either your client contact or company interacts on social media. These networks allow your business to have professional, yet friendly conversations with clients, and provide an outlet to share information.
- Social media allows businesses to connect with potential clients. These days, people are searching for your business on social media, and if it’s not there, they’ll search for a competitor. If they find you, they’ll look to make sure you know what you’re doing, and social media is the perfect place to show thought leadership in your industry. They’ll also look to make sure that your company’s personality complements theirs, so don’t forget to highlight the culture within your company.
- Social media provides an outlet to recruit high-quality job candidates. With a high-traffic professional social network like LinkedIn, recruitment can now be much more convenient than in the past. Your company’s HR team can search for potential candidates with specific areas of expertise, and reach out to them directly on the social network. Posting photos and videos of employee events and opportunities is also a great visual way to feature what life can be like for future employees of your business.
- Social media makes researching opportunities simple. If your business is looking for new partnerships, sponsorships or vendors, your team can quickly conduct research on social media to create an honest evaluation of how that relationship would likely function.
- Social media can improve online visibility. We’ve all heard about search engine optimization (SEO) for company websites, but it works for social media too. All the words you place in tweets and posts are keywords, and if they are used properly, can improve your SEO as well. Plus, Twitter isn’t the only social network using hashtags anymore—users can search directly on YouTube and Pinterest now as well for specific keywords.
Although it’s not smart to do something just because someone else is, when it comes to social media, businesses need to look past that. Maybe your business won’t find Facebook effective, or maybe there is no reason why SlideShare needs to be in the mix, but there is at least one social network from which your business can benefit—you just need to find it. How has your business benefited the most from social media?