Have social networks become a necessity for business?

There is no doubt that social networks play an increasingly pivotal role for businesses. Yet some businesses question whether the time and energy spent implementing a social media strategy is an effective way to boost performance and sales. We turned to our panel of social media experts and asked them to share their opinions on how businesses can optimize results from social media marketing. Here’s what they had to say:

Terri Brooks, a certified Internet and social media marketing trainer and consultant providing education and guidance for establishing an online presence, believes that social networks have become a necessity for all businesses. Sites like Facebook, with over 600 million users, make it easy for businesses to locate and communicate with their target market. While Brooks acknowledges that it can be time-consuming to remain active within social media networks, the advantages of forming stronger relationships and broadening the customer base far outweighs the time spent. Brooks recommends that in order to lessen the amount of time spent, businesses should implement a social media strategy. Businesses can either allocate a certain amount of time each day to communicate on these networks or they can hire a social media manager to act as their voice online. It is incredibly important that businesses learn the best ways to utilize social media because, “if businesses do not take advantage of these free marketing tools, their competitors will.”

Jim3iii, a proven executive leader with extensive marketing and business development experience in Asia, Europe and North America including VC fund raising and debt financing, understands that social media marketing is both a necessity and an annoyance. Because this marketing tool is new, people can use social media both creatively and intrusively. The core value of social media is its ability to reach customers where they are and when they can take immediate action on an offer. Businesses are no longer constrained by mass advertising; instead, “offers can be targeted to people passing a store front or browsing the web.” But while social media offers a way for customers to receive immediate gratification with the best price, the etiquette between buyer and seller “is still being worked out.” Savvari, a social media and marketing consultant with a specialty in branding and print project management, believes that social networks are especially vital in the business to consumer world. Because customers can review a brand in either a positive or negative way online, businesses need to establish an online presence. Savvari explains that sites like Facebook and Twitter can both allow customers to easily contact a company through forums and make it easier for a company to track and respond to questions and comments.

Asad Zeeshan, with five years of experience as a business consultant and coach for social media marketing SEO, SEM, and Internet marketing strategies, stresses that social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have become a necessity for businesses worldwide because social media provides a global business market to users. Social media is not only a place where people can shop or plan events, but also where B2B interactions occur. Zeeshan explains that, “businesses worldwide must show their existence by being on social media so consumers must aware of them.” If companies do not use social media to promote their business, they will likely lag behind in the market share. Ruby Gottlieb, a digital marketing specialist with experience developing media programs that help build brands by offering innovative marketing solutions, feels that while social networks are not a necessity, it is an element that is rapidly gaining importance. However, Gottlieb also adds that businesses should only invest time in social media marketing if they “are willing to do what it takes to understand it, do it right, monitor it and measure it effectively.”

Do you have a question (about social networks or any other topic) you would like to ask Zintro’s experts? Click here. Would you be interested in signing to be a Zintro expert and generate free leads for your business? Click here.