Why Businesses Need to Engage Consumers Using Social Media

June 13, 2013
In this ever-changing era of the Internet, social media is becoming more and more vital on every level: from kids with Instagram accounts to the White House and its Twitter account, and everyone in between. It’s becoming more and more important for both emerging and established companies to have a social media presence (Facebook page, WordPress blog, Tumblr, Twitter, and even Pinterest).

Some websites, like popular Internet staples UpWorthy and BuzzFeed, exist solely to promote viral media — like a nesting doll of social media. UpWorthy exists to promote material that will in turn promote UpWorthy; it’s like a perpetual motion machine.

Regardless of company, having a presence in one or more forms of social media can be a great way to promote your services. For example, Dunkel Bros. Machinery Moving was recently involved in transporting the Space Shuttle Endeavor from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center. This was a highly-publicized event and Dunkel Bros. capitalized on it by posting pictures of the move on its blog and then sharing those pictures via social media, which generated interest in the company’s business and services.

This engagement is great for all levels of business. For an example of a start-up effort, consider the Internet phenomenon of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was a vlog (video blog) adaptation of Jane Austen’s famous novel, Pride and Prejudice. What set this web series ahead of the pack was its creative use of social media: each of the characters (in addition to their real-life creators) had their own Twitter and Tumblr and some of them even had their own Pinterest.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries became so popular (its YouTube channel has more than 200,000 followers) that when they finally created a KickStarter campaign to fund their next project, they surpassed their goal of $60,000 and raised almost $500,000. Although they uploaded all of their content onto YouTube for viewers to enjoy for free, their social media presence helped them raise hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Even on the corporate level, social media engagement is considered crucial to success. When American Express announced its plan to launch Serve, a mobile platform similar to PayPal, the company was able to successfully push Serve and spread the awareness of its automatic discount campaign through the use of social media.

While it doesn’t have the same ubiquity as American Express, PoolSupplyWorld has utilized social media to its advantage. Regardless of the social account used, this company promotes its products with interesting posts with effective call-to-action messages and coupons. It has also been known to have giveaway programs to encourage more social media users to follow the company on Twitter and Facebook.

All of these social media outlets together work to generate interest and consumer support for an already-popular company. Whatever the size of your company, social media is helpful. They say any press is good press — and these days, you can create your own press! It doesn’t matter what kind of entity you are, from small business to large corporation, social media is for you.

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