Ten years ago, social media was hardly a blip on most business owner’s radar. Since then, it has changed the way businesses start, operate, and end. Business owners know they need to be on social, but they don’t always understand how or why. Understanding how social media has changed the way business operates will show you what you can do to improve your business.
How has social media changed business?
Social media has changed business in so many ways. You could easily write a book about it. And that book would quickly become outdated because of the changing nature of social media. But there are two big things that have changed for businesses as a result of social media. One is the way businesses are expected to interact with customers. Another is the way that businesses acquire new customers.
Social Media Has Changed How Businesses Interact With Customers
If you want your business to succeed in the age of social media, you have to be social and attentive. Brands that do not respond to comments and questions on their social media accounts are viewed as unfriendly or unprofessional. Even worse? When businesses do not respond to negative comments or complaints.
Before social media, interactions with customers were primarily between a customer and the business only. Sure there may be other customers in a store when a negative interaction occurs. Those customers could attest to the positive or negative traits of a business owner via word of mouth. But social media makes it so that those interactions are very public and very hard to hide when they go south.
Social Media has Changed the Way Businesses Acquire New Customers
Marketing used to rely a lot on the spray and pray method. A business would hire a really great marketing company, known for its ability to create amazing copy. They would spend a ton of money on a printed ad in a newspaper or a magazine, or a commercial on tv. While targeting certainly affected their choice of medium, the art of targeting was unrefined. The business could make some very broad assumptions about where their ideal customer might be. Then they would hope that the ad caught them at the right time. Hopefully, enough ads would lead to a new customer.
But social media has changed all of that.
Today brands have the ability to target customers based on interests identified through their internet activity. While this has led to a lot of concern over privacy issues, it ultimately created a world where we rarely see an ad for a product we would never buy. A world where advertising budgets are spent on targeting customers who are highly likely to have a genuine interest in our product. That has been a game-changer for businesses.
Social media has changed so many things for businesses, and as platforms evolve, it will continue to change. Some changes make it easier for businesses and others make it harder.
At The Social Expansion Project, we have a team of social media experts who are on top of the trends. We know how to make social media work for you and not against you. We would love to speak with you further about your social media marketing needs and how we can help. Schedule a free, no-pressure consultation with us today!