integrated-business-applications-social-mediaSocial media is transforming the way businesses market and communicate with their customers. As consumers become increasingly more mobile and social media-savvy, it’s pertinent that businesses engage with their customers on these platforms. Social media users are producing more data than ever before, and companies can harness this data to better understand their customers’ wants and needs. However, if your business is not using social media platforms or does not know what to do with the massive amount of data, you could be losing out on crucial business opportunities.

According to a recent study performed by Marketing Profs, eighty percent of consumers who own smartphones never leave the house without their device. This means that smartphone users can receive (and respond to) emails and other important updates wherever they are, creating a new window of opportunity for businesses to market their products and services. In order to do so, however, companies need to learn how to harness the data social media unveils.

Whether they realize it or not, consumers are sharing more information than ever. In a single minute, there are over 510,000 Facebook posts made, 347,000 tweets shared, 48 hours of You Tube videos uploaded, and 5,100 likes on Instagram. That’s a whole lot of data, and businesses are struggling to keep up with it.

Start Managing Your Social Media Pages
Simply having a presence on social media is not enough anymore. In order to effectively market to and engage your customers, you need to effectively manage your social media accounts. This means you have to keep a close eye on who’s tweeting you or posting onto your company’s Facebook page. Without proper management, these tweets and posts can go unnoticed and your customers will start to feel ignored, eventually moving on to another company who takes the time to “listen” and “respond”.

The number of social media encounters between customers and businesses each day is too many to count. While it may seem like an overwhelming task at first, there is a way to manageably keep up with your customers via social media. Use location as a filter to make responding a little easier. If you have a store in Atlanta, focus your responses on the customers and prospects in and around that area. Assign different team members to different locations to lighten the load if you have to, but don’t ignore your customers’ posts or tweets. They are freely engaging you, and this could be a prime opportunity to build your business if you handle it correctly.

Are You Using Location Services?
As we discussed above, marketing to your customers and prospects based on location is critical. Many customers use their device in stores and, if they receive an email or Facebook offer while they are in that location, more than half of them are likely to use it. By taking advantage of location services, your business can benefit from higher conversion rates, increased revenue, and larger transaction sizes. Your customers will also be more likely to return to the store.

Using Social Media Data to Drive Sales
Social media never remains the same. New networks are popping up every day, and old networks are evolving as we speak. In order to effectively use social media for marketing purposes, companies need to know how to stay relevant and effectively manage their data. You can do this by asking for feedback on your products and services, or by selecting a specific group to preview a new product before its launch. If your customers aren’t happy with the product, it may help you decide to stop developing it further. By engaging with your customers and prospects on social media, you can learn a lot about your company and further develop your brand.

Some businesses even distribute surveys on social media to encourage feedback. Once you’ve created the survey, you can tweet a link with a hashtag to the survey and receive data instantly. This gives you a unique opportunity to listen to your customers so you have a better idea of how to improve your products and attract prospects.

While it’s true that social media produces a lot of data, it is invaluable to businesses. If you are not currently using social media in your marketing efforts, now is the time to embrace it. You will not only reach new customers and increase your revenue, but you will also be able to better understand the needs of your current (and future) customers.