We all know, or have been at least told that organisations have to be active on social media, but why? Kylie Deans from POPCOM reminds us of the benefits of social media, and how and why to use it as a part of your business marketing plan.

THE best brand awareness for any business or company has always been word of mouth and through the rise of social media the reach has become limitless.

Social media presents benefits across the key marketing areas of branding, customer service, advertising, sales and lead generation, content promotion, research and development, competitive analysis and SEO improvement.

Today there are millions of users on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram making social media an obvious platform for brand awareness.

By using social media effectively, the company will gain cost effective exposure to a large and relatively unknown audience markets, which have the ability to share content and grow your reach organically.

With so much competition in the marketplace it is imperative to create not only brand awareness but also brand loyalty.

Social media offers the opportunity to present a consistent message of trust, knowledge and likeability.

In a professional capacity LinkedIn has become the platform of choice.

Launched in 2003 targeting professionals, in 2007 they estimated 467 million users with 4,200,000 monthly active Australian users.

LinkedIn offers the following tips on their website for growing your network.

·         On the company page aim for a strong brand impression by displaying company logo and consistent colors to that of the brand.

·         Customize content to attract your intended audience. Ensure content is interesting and highlights knowledge or perhaps what sets you apart from the competition.

·         Use consistent keywords on both the profile and in content.

·         Consider the use of the LinkedIn publishing platform.

·         Request recommendations from satisfied customers.

·         Consider mobile users in your marketing strategy.

·         Create a business group where employees, customers and contacts can engage with each other.

This is all good advice and I would like to add the importance of adding visually appealing imagery, links back to company website, and consistent posts with a minimum of three per week as well as sharing relatable content of appropriate subjects.  Also recommended is keeping LinkedIn as a professional image whilst other forms of social media can include a more relaxed whilst still appropriate approach.

By Kylie Deans

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