Social media have opened up the online floodgates for many businesses. Since the birth of all the social networking channels, it has never been more convenient and easier to communicate in real-time with businesses, groups, organizations, and people from any part of the world. Social media has become a valued space for many where you can connect with your family, friends, and stay up to date with the latest news and information.

If you are a business owner who wants to market in the online universe, it is important with today’s trends that you build an optimized social media presence to increase your awareness online. A couple of years ago, social media marketing was a nice to have, but now it is an absolute must for digital marketing. Not only can you increase your brand awareness on various popular Web 2.0 channels, social media signals are beginning to play an important role with organic rankings. By optimizing your business for the social web with social media optimization (SMO), you can give your business a hefty boost in your search engine optimization (SEO) initiatives.

With all the buzz trending online about social media, there are still many business owners that are scared of jumping on the social media bandwagon. One reason they are hesitant could be the fact that social media is still a somewhat new medium used for marketing purposes, and they haven’t yet explored all the benefits of it. Another big reason is that social media ROI is still a mystery to many.

Measuring the ROI of social media is still a widely discussed topic, but before you can measure that, you must understand what social media can do for your business.

Social media brand awareness

With the popularity of all the various social media channels, Web 2.0 is the perfect place to announce your present to the world. If you are an established business, there might be a chance that people are already talking about your services or products on the social web. This leads to online reputation management (ORM) and it is better if you had your presence already established on the channels that people are using to talk about your business. This will make it easier to join the conversation and build relationships with these people.

Build customer relationships

Social media is a medium that amplifies social communication. It is a two-way communication channel between your customers and your business. By answering their questions, and providing them with solutions to their problems, you will be able to build trust around your brand and have much greater chance to get more targeted customers. This can boost your overall profit.

Online reputation management

On the social web content is generated by real people (in most cases). As mentioned previously, there might be a good chance that people are already talking about your business online, and maybe all the comments are negative. Bad news and comments spreads like wildfire online. If you can track what is being said about you and your business online, it will give you the opportunity to respond to their negative feedback and provide them with solutions to their problems.

Listening is an integral part of social media to find out what  the talk is online, and how you can tap into the millions of conversations happening every minute.  To profit from listening with social media, you need a plan to act on what you learn.

There are still many benefits you can enjoy with a proper social media marketing strategy. Creating brand awareness for your business on social media can give you massive exposure, and increase your organic search engine rankings. The more visible and active you are on the social media channels you have chosen to use, the more visible you become, and the more targeted customers can find you which leads to increased brand exposure and profit.

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