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This is the most basic reason for you to do anything online because it increases your web presence. Any business has only one objective, and that is sales, be it a product or a service. The only way to do this is to make people aware that you are providing a particular product or service. Companies spend between 3% and 10% of their total sales just to do this. In corporate parlance, this is called marketing, when you advertise in different venues so that you let people know exactly what it is that you provide.
With so much of money at stake, companies are always looking for ways in which they can get the same kind of exposure without spending as much money, and the web is giving them that opportunity. More than 75% of the population in Western countries has broadband connections at home; more and more people are going online for their needs. Sales are slowly but surely moving towards online, and many manufacturers are already taking advantage of this.
Amazon is posting a 15% growth each year, and their profits have skyrocketed in the past couple of years. In fact, even during the downturn, they were one of the few industries that posted growth. There are some benefits to buying online, primary among them being lower cost and this benefit is hard to match in retail sales.
Many organizations have taken notice of this growth, and even though their online marketing budget is only around 14% of their overall marketing budget, it is a significant increase from last year’s 8%. Everyone realizes that the future is online, but there are still many organizations that are still wary. It has grown so fast that it has caught many companies by surprise.
With its enormous reach, especially in specific markets and demographics where traditional marketing does not have much impact, Facebook offers an inexpensive, yet quite an effective way to put your company’s face on the World Wide Web. Just having a website is not enough and everyone knows this. While there are alternatives to Facebook is dominating the social network sites and their 1.9 billion users force you to consider the number of people that you could reach. With Facebook now surpassing Google in the number of people who visit them every day, this is becoming more compelling.
This is a carry on from the previous point. The aim of increasing web presence is to not only improve the brand awareness but also increase brand image. While brand awareness or brand recall is easily achieved with advertising, increasing brand image is a little more difficult. Companies spend years developing a certain image for their brand, and any decision with regards to a new product is taken considering if it will fit the brand image or not.
Online this is not as difficult. Although the basics remain the same, it is much cheaper to develop a brand online than offline. For example, customer service online is usually restricted to email and responses to blog posts and questions in the forum. This is much easier to handle and much cheaper in fact than real-time call centers where people answer your calls.
Of course, emails may not be able to fully replace human interaction, but it can reduce it by quite a big margin. In the same way advertising as well as the promotion of a product is much cheaper online than it is in the real world.
Brand building is all about creating an image of the brand in the minds of the people, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to increase the interaction between the general population and the organization. While having a website is the bare minimum that an organization should do, there is not much interaction you can have with your customers through your website. Many sites have a “contact us” link and some even have a complaints page where you can log in and put in your complaints, but doing so on Facebook just increases the personal touch.