We recently did a post on The Steps For Creating A Facebook Page For Your Business to show you how to setup Facebook for your personal or business use, and some tips on how to use it. This article is going to focus on the importance of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter for retail stores and malls.
General Benefits for Using Social Media
One of the greatest things about social media sites are cost benefits. Most of the social networking sites out there that you can setup a business account for are free, like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. You can add as many things to your account as you want and watch the number of followers grow without having to pay any fees. Social media also helps get more traffic to your website, so instead of spending a lot of money on online advertisements that may or may not turn into revenue, you can direct people to your company through free links.
Another unique reason for using social media marketing to grow your business is because you are instantly entered into a world where you can directly communicate with customers and fans of whatever it is that you offer. Instead of just trying to create new ways to find business, you can actually talk to the people who are interested in your company and have a one to one dialogue with them, which is beneficial to you both. You will be able to understand them more, offer them customer service faster and more efficiently, and also be able to stay current on all the latest trends in your industry.
Social Networking Usage for Stores
Companies on Facebook and Twitter are using social media to connect with customers by notifying them about special promotions, coupons, seasonal promotions and new website or store openings. Not only will a larger number of people be aware of these offers, but they will learn about them faster than any other form of marketing. With the use of Web-enabled mobile devices, customers of any age can know about your promotions as soon as you send them out.
Even whole shopping malls are creating Facebook and Twitter accounts so that they can connect with shoppers going to a variety of stores. By using social networking, malls are telling people about special events and in store promotions that are going on. Usually stores within a mall will have seasonal promotions, so social media is perfect for the whole mall to tell customers about annual promotions and events.
Challenges Businesses Face in Social Media
The main reason why so many companies struggle to succeed with social media is that it takes a lot of time to maintain a worthy campaign. There are too many sites out there to use, so it is important to choose the right ones for your specific industry. Also, if one area of social networking is very time consuming but not producing the right results, it is wasting a lot of your time to keep up.
You must also be aware that the mere number of posts or offers you have means nothing unless they are useful to the people looking at them. It’s important to make sure what you’re putting out there is interesting and valuable, while being eye-catching and user friendly at the same time. The popular example within the Facebook community is Wal-Mart, who made a page that had a corporate feel and didn’t fit in the Facebook world.
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