Social networking has become a valuable tool in promoting business as well as assessing their services. Most organizations today have several social media pages that enable to communicate with their clients and get feedback that can be used for future innovation or client satisfaction analysis. Exploring a social media review site, Trip Advisor, reveals the power of social media in the business world and provides an in-depth understanding of how it can be useful. Social media review sites have become crucial tools in evaluating the performance and services of businesses. Trip Advisor, Yelp, Yahoo Local, Google Local, and UrbanSpoon are a few examples of such. Clients use these sites to validate the quality and services of places they want to try out; furthermore, they leave reviews that help future customers as well as the business itself. We will use Trip Advisor to check out a local restaurant in Los Angeles, Carlitos Gardel, which is famous for its excellent sushi, steak, and Italian cuisine ("Carlitos Gardel"). Exploring the review section of the page will help improve our comprehension of social media data in businesses. Analyzing the comment section reveals the great quality service and food offered in Carlitos Gardel. Most of the users have provided positive reviews that can help the business grow or diversify through client attraction.
Many organizations are using social media as a sales tools given its viability in the marketing sector. There are several ways to employ the mentioned strategy. First, is the use of a profile. Every business should have an excellent profile on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. LinkedIn is another crucial platform even though it will not attract as much traffic as one can expect. While profiles may not have a massive impact on sales, they act as introduction hence their importance (Hendricks, n.d.). A poor profile will push most users away as it manifests disorganization while an excellent one will lead them on to the next phase. Second, social media are a good way of driving traffic to landing pages (Hendricks, n.d.). Many businesses have had success by directing traffic from social networks to landing pages then to product listings. However, it is recommended to sell products on the landing pages because some users find page redirection and links to be exhaustive. Using tools such as Space, one can include on-page shopping carts to ease the process of buying goods or services (Hendricks, n.d.). Third, social media helps in advertising. Huge networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are great platforms to market products given their numerous users. By using inbound marketing strategies, a business can attract many potential investors from the social networks. Social media also has selling tools, like Shopial or Soldsie, that can be extremely useful for people looking to sell directly from the networks (Hendricks, n.d.). Such tools transform those pages into commercial websites in an instant. If a user likes a specific product, he/she can leave a note in the comment section to make a purchase. Furthermore, online financial systems such as PayPal have made transactions a walk in the park for trade. Finally, social media helps sales by providing insights. They are great in providing information on trends as well as reviews that can be helpful in improving a product or diversifying.
Social media also play a massive role in the sales process. It does so by providing a medium of communication as well as information. According to Tibor Shanto, it is an essential piece of the modern selling puzzle (David, 2016). It is important to keep up with people and the topics they are talking. Social media helps identify trends and changes in the market. Most important, it provides a platform for businesses to directly communicate with the clients no matter the geographical limitations. In David Bloom's opinion, they are also vital in educating people as they allow for the sharing of ideas and cultures (David, 2016).
The use of social media has a massive impact on business: either positive or negative. Some of the positive ways it affects organizations are through communication, marketing, and branding. Before the invention of social networks, most businesses relied on word of mouth, television and radio, mail, and newspapers. While those approaches were and are still useful, they lack one thing: a two-way communication. They only accommodate information moving from the business to the client and potential customers. On the other hand, social media has improved communication by providing a two-way channel. An organization can now easily keep up with the needs of its consumers regardless of their location at an instant; therefore, improving their products and services as well as increasing their client base. Another positive impact of social media is branding. It affects how clients view a brand. Before the intervention of this technology, most people saw businesses as impersonal entities. With social media, there is a new level of dialogue that enhances the relationship between a company and its clients. Those clients help shape the perception of the brand through social media. It is also worth mentioning that social media can have negative impacts on a business. They have been known to shut down some organizations. It is very difficult, almost impossible, to measure social media ROI. The inability to recognize the worth of marketing activities in a business may result in severe losses if the strategies are not favorable. Another factor is the brand image. In an organization, every employee represents the brand image. Managing their social activities is difficult. What they post online is an explicit representation of the company's ideology, and negative posts can have a detrimental effect. One of the worst impacts of social media is negative reviews. If a customer is not satisfied with a product, they can go online and paint a negative picture of the company, which can result in sales drop since most users rely on other people's reviews to decide on whether to try a service.
Due to the significant number of people using social media, there is a lot of data that organizations can use to improve the sale process. By employing data analytics, businesses can predict behavior. Predictive analytics is an essential weapon for sales teams. Example, a company can review past customer interactions to know whether a product has a future.
It is clear that social media is the future of businesses. With the vast amount of raw data being produced each day, it is easy to spot trends and targets for a particular product. The use of social networks in the sales process has proven useful and can be used to improve the marketing industry further.
Carlitos Gardel. Trip Advisor. Retrieved from https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g32655-d371845-Reviews-Carlitos_Gardel-Los_Angeles_California.html
David, T. (2016). The experts: The role of social media in the sales process. Venture Accelerator Partners. Retrieved from https://www.vapartners.ca/the-experts-social-media-sales-process/.
Hendricks, D. (n.d.). 5 ways to use social media as a sales tool. INC. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/drew-hendricks/5-ways-to-use-social-media-as-a-sales-tool.html.
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