Social-Media-Business-StrategyThe popularity of social media is hard to ignore. If you turn on the news, you’ll probably here something about the ramifications of social media on our society. While the presses taut that social media leads to a disconnect in relationships, the opposite proves to be true in the business world. Companies who use social media on a regularly basis actually show an increase in their connection with their customers. In fact, study after study has proven that businesses with regular social media activity actually have higher sales than those with irregular (or no) activity.

According to a study conducted in January 2014, the average time social media users spend on social media each day is 2 hours and 17 minutes. In terms of how users are accessing these sits, 54% are accessing social media sites directly from their phones. Today’s customers are connected, and if your company has any wish of reaching its sales goals, you need to start learning how to connect you’re your customers through social media.

Social Media Levels the Playing Field between Small and Big Businesses

Social media has changed the game for small businesses. A few years ago, small businesses could not compete with the large advertising and marketing budgets of big businesses. However, since the emergence of social media, small businesses have not only been able to connect with larger audiences, but they’ve been able to do so on much small budgets than their big business counterparts. Advertising has gotten much easier, and maintaining personal connections is now a breeze.

Social media has given businesses the capability to connect personally with their customers each and every day, whether those customers reside in the same town or across the globe. Social media erases the boundary lines, providing every business with essentially the same opportunity. In order to capitalize on those opportunities, however, you have to be using social media correctly.

In order to gain the kind of traction you need to boost your sales, your company needs to pour a little effort into your social media campaign. When a customer posts a complaint on Facebook about the poor service they experienced, reach out immediately and mitigate the situation. If your customers can see how willing you are to address their concerns, they are more likely to want to return. Plus, responding to all feedback – positive or negative – helps improve your image on the web.

Create marketing campaigns specifically for your social media sites (such as offering Facebook fans a special 15% off promotion). Let your customers know that you appreciate their support and offer further incentive for their continued support. Through these specialized marketing opportunities, you can even gain new and loyal customers.

Above all, manage your social media presence the same way you would manage any other marketing or advertising campaign. Keep the customer at the forefront of your mind. Put yourself in their shoes and make it about more than just selling another product and service. When you connect with your customers on a personal level, we can guarantee that your business will benefit.

How are you currently using social media? Do you have any tips to share? Feel free to share your social media experiences in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!