Social Media: Is It A Useful Tool For Businesses?

The use of social media platforms has increased astoundingly over the last decade. Considering where we were ten years ago, would anyone have been able to predict just quite how widespread and diverse these tools have become. Used originally as a tool for social connection, it was only a matter of time before businesses saw an opportunity to speak to their customers. But just how effective is social media for businesses. Hayder Al-Ani reviews whether social media can deliver a good ROI.

The easiest and most effective way for businesses to get attention on social media is via paid advertising and over the last seven years spending by businesses advertising in this way has increased by 234%. Although this growth in spending appears significant, it actually falls short of the predictions made. This suggests that although businesses are aware of the benefits of communicating with their audience via social media, it perhaps is not quite delivering the expected ROI. Hayder Al-Ani reviews why this might be.

Firstly, it may be that there was too much initial hype surrounding social media. Businesses tried to capitalise on this opportunity and when the results did not live up to expectations, interest tailed off.

Secondly, Hayder Al-Ani suggests that the growth of these platforms were so fast that many businesses simply did not have the skills set to take full advantage of the opportunities available. This deficit in skills set to match the quickly developing technology has been recently recognised within the marketing industry and one which needs to be addressed for smaller businesses to be able to keep up with demands.

Lastly, Hayder Al-Ani reviews businesses’ perspective on the function of social media. Potentially, businesses have been approaching social media for the wrong reasons- as another sales tool. Although, this is a possibility, many users of social media are not looking to make a purchase when using these platforms. Instead, social media is a place to communicate with your audience and make them aware of your brand. Develop brand trust by informing and entertaining them on issues relating to your industry. Working with this approach, customers will then remember your brand when they are considering a purchase.

Social media can be a useful tool for businesses, but for it to be used effectively; many organisations may need to reconsider the approach they use.

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