How Businesses Can Properly Harness the Power of Social Media

Social media is fast becoming one of the most valuable tools a business can utilize to improve its success, especially small businesses. Small businesses often don’t have the cash flow needed to market like larger businesses do, so knowing how to properly harness the power of social media is key. That’s not to say larger businesses can’t benefit from properly utilizing social media. From a marketing perspective, social media is practically a necessary tool, and businesses who don’t utilize it to some extent may begin to find themselves falling behind the times.

To properly harness the power of social media, businesses should first realize it’s potential and benefit. Buy utilizing social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, businesses can better connect with customers. They’ll find out what customers like and don’t like, and what’s working for their business based on customer chatter taking place on social media sites.

Once the potential and benefit have been realized, businesses need to know where to look to find this information. Sure, they can find a lot on Facebook and Twitter, but researching reviews on sites like Yelp and Angie’s List is also a great way to find out what the business can do to improve. That, essentially, is the goal of utilizing social media in the end. Consider it detective work to find areas of weakness that can be improved or, in more positive instances, areas where the business excels so the business can continue doing so.

Once sideline detective work is done, businesses benefit from using social media to actively engage with their customers. Not only does this make customers feel more valued and important, but it’s a great way to get a first-hand account of customer feedback. According to an article on, ways that companies can actively engage with their customers include:

Use of hashtags to follow and fuel conversation

Learn about what the hot topics are in the industry via crowdsourcing on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media avenues.
Engage customers and promote conversation via newsletters, blogs, and other content

Carry out surveys to find out what’s most important to customers.

Lastly, be responsive. All of the research and social media work will be worthless if businesses don’t respond to the customer feedback they received. This is how businesses, both large and small, properly harness the power of social media. It’s a powerful tool that can not only help businesses get recognized by customers, but it can also help point out areas of weakness and strength, so businesses continue to grow and be successful.

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