This guest post is contributed by Brenda Harris, who writes on the topic of online executive mba programs . She can be reached at her email id: firstname.lastname@example.org
They were developed as a means to stay in touch with friends and get back together with long lost acquaintances, but today, they are equally deified and vilified by society. They are perceived as a bad influence by those who see them as destroyers of privacy and wasters of time, but to others who are wiser and know better, social networks are invaluable tools that not only help you stay in touch with loved ones and share aspects of their lives, but which also help you gain priceless business connections and build your own networks. If you’re wondering how online networks can enhance your business, read on:
- They make great marketing tools: If you own a small to medium-sized business and don’t have a page on Facebook or any of the numerous other social networks out there, you’re making a big mistake. Today, it’s all about having an online presence because it’s the easiest and cheapest way to get noticed. When you establish yourself on social networks, it’s easier to get new customers because you are automatically visible to friends of your existing customers. And when one of them enters your fold, all their friends are introduced to your products and services through an announcement from the social network page. And since people tend to follow what their friends do, there’s a good chance that you will gain new customers without even trying.
- They allow you to address customer complaints: The net is a dangerous place, especially if you don’t want bad publicity for your business. A single complaint can get out of hand when it is made online, especially if more people who have an axe to grind against you join the chorus and try to make it your swansong. Online networks allow you to address negative publicity and customer complaints in a proactive and positive way. When you make efforts to allay disgruntled customers, you gain favour with them and they don’t leave you to join forces with the competition. In today’s dog-eat-dog world, it’s wise to focus not just on gaining new customers but also on retaining the ones you already have.
- They are free ways to advertise: The Internet is a medium that is an advertiser’s dream – it reaches millions of people and is relatively cost effective when compared to other advertisement media. When you use social networks to advertise your products, you do so almost free of cost. And if your methods are non-intrusive and your products and services necessary or attractive, your online ads will generate a large amount of business for your company.
The key to achieving business success using social networks is to harness them wisely and utilize their mass appeal to enhance your business operations.