It’s 2016 and e-business has since made great leaps and bounds since its early days when people latched on to the Internet in excitement without actually understanding how they stand to profit from it. Today, using social media for business is practically a no-brainer. Almost everyone does, and the benefits – expanding your reach, tapping into a global audience, generating income while you sleep, efficient distribution of content and streamlining your e-business through automatic functions online – are things that almost everyone are familiar with.
Surprisingly, businesses that don’t have a standard website or social media presence still exist out there to their peril. Why? Lack of awareness and not having anyone take on their social media management are some real though hard to believe reasons.
The following numbers should prove convincing for such people. Inc. notes that nearly one out of three Americans get news via Facebook while 40 percent of them do their socializing online than they do face-to-face. Internet World Stats points out at least 48 per cent of social media users are in Asia, and as of Nov. 2015, Filipinos number in the top 5 Asian users on Facebook. In 2011, the Philippines was dubbed the social media capital of the world.
These numbers highlight the two main uses of social media: it accelerates the word-of-mouth phenomenon and when used properly – more efficiently translates your reach to actual, and repeated sales.
How should old timers and newbies maximize the limitless business opportunities on social media? Here are some tips:
Facebook: We all know posting smart links to your website on your timeline is the way to go, but those who have harnessed the power of sponsored ads for business and fan pages on Facebook have grown faster than those who have limited their reach to their list of fan likes and FB friends. Facebook groups are a powerful tool as well: consider the groups dedicated for Uber and Grab car riders. Thanks to its comic content (derived from an amusing exchange between riders and drivers), the groups have not only functioned as a community of support for its members but have actually increased the number of both drivers and riders in the respective areas. There is also greater engagement between the two parties and this naturally leads to business.
Pinterest and Instagram: These two platforms have a more slightly subliminal effect on potential customers because of their emphasis on the visual element. However, these are more than just avenues for your glorified picture albums. Instagram is best used through artful and quaint images that tug at the heart, coupled with a moving caption that best reflects your message. Think of your philosophy told in ten words or less. Pinterest on the other hand takes curated eye candy to the next level and is best used with how-to’s, memes and cute product photos that link directly to your shopping cart.
Viber: This is not exactly as clear cut as broadcasting events and engaging in customer inquiries on Twitter, Linked-In or YouTube, but instant messaging and VoIP apps like Viber and WhatsApp are now starting to figure prominently among start ups and DIY ventures. Take for example an enterprising group of bikers who created a motorbike conversation group on Viber to quickly connect a growing number of commuters who can’t deal with traffic to a group of bikers who are ready to take on passengers for a reasonable fee. Does it need regulation? Yes. But connecting demand to the supply is a good start.