Social Media Is A Company’s Most Vital Tool In 2019

It should come as no surprise to anyone in today’s world that modern media is here to stay. This includes everything from Gmail, iMessage and Whatsapp to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (as well as so many more). Instead of letting modern media run a brand into the ground, many companies have decided to take these platforms head-on and use them to their advantage.

Those that have done so have seen tremendous growth and prospered from it, while those who have tried to stray from this “black-hole” have watched their company reap the consequences. In today’s atmosphere, social media can truly make or break a company, no matter how great and genuine that company’s message or mission may be. This makes social media the most vital tool for the survival and success of any company in today’s media world.

 

Social media is the most vital tool for any business—from a startup to a fortune 500 company—in a modern world.

 

Social media is seen by everyone: toddlers watching other toddlers play with toys on YouTube, teenagers keeping up with celebrity news and influencers on Instagram, adults looking for new recipes on Pinterest—even those who we usually have to help out when it comes to technical literacy have been influenced in some way by social media (yes, even your grandparents!). This means it can be hard for a company to narrow down its audience.

One thing that the internet has opened the doors for is searching simply for your company name and seeing what people are saying. You can go on any social media page or website and search a company and have instant results of people who are using the product, thinking about using the product, getting rid of the product and so on. While you’re doing this, you can even see how other people are being influenced towards or away from your product, and how they are responding to these outside influences.

Population of internet users in 2018.

 

In a modern setting, consumer feedback happens within seconds of using a product and depending on who is conducting the review and on what platform they’re using to broadcast their feedback, this can have either a wildly positive or negative impact on the succession of your company. One thing we see a lot today are big-name influencers on social media accounts on platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram doing product reviews (these can be sponsored or unsponsored). These product reviews can have a large and lasting effect on the reputation of a company.

This is why social media is such a vital tool to companies today: it allows their relationship with their customers to go beyond a customer service phone call or an email exchange and allows them to see and hear what they couldn’t before. Social media has the ability to make or break a company, so anyone with a business, who is seeking to start a business, or even work for any type of company for that matter, needs to know exactly how to utilize these tools in and out. Companies are looking to hire people (and rightfully so) who are experts in the social media realm, whether or not their job directly pertains to the upkeep and output of their social media accounts so that they have a constant flow of new ideas and people to be looking out for.

It can be hard to determine exactly what social platform your business should be on or what platform you should promote an aspect of your business on. According to Forbes, the number one challenges that startups face are limited cash flow and limited manpower. With free access to social platforms, this makes social media the number one tool to help grow and expand your current audience and reach. Small businesses will probably branch out and create pages on multiple social media sites just to grow and get the public’s attention, large corporations will probably have only a couple pages on the big name sites, but what about for those businesses that don’t exactly make the Fortune 500 list, but have well-surpassed the “small business” title? This is all very personalized to the business and their good or service, which is why you need someone fluent in the language of social media to help you to decide which platforms you should be on and how big of a presence you want on those pages.

A company promoting their new clothing line could think they are making a dent in the social media world by simply having a LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook account for their brand, but that wouldn’t be the best group of social apps to promote something like this. A clothing brand who is looking to reach a broader audience and gain a following should begin with a platform in which a consumer can immediately see their product, and not have to do any extra clicking or link-following simply to figure out what they that company’s product is. In this case, an Instagram (business version) is a necessity, as well as a Facebook and ideally either a Snapchat or YouTube channel.

Social media audiences by app.

A common misconception when it comes to social media, especially for people that have not grown up using it or have been properly acclimated into its language, is that by simply having a social media account does not ensure a social media presence. A social media presence isn’t just having a social media page, it means how you directly use your account: how often you post, what you post and how you interact and engage with other accounts all have an effect on your social media presence. Being active and engaging with your audience is the number one way to increase your social media presence, rather than just sitting behind your screen and posting pictures that your 100 followers may or may not see on their timeline.

A great example of this is the Wendy’s infamous Twitter account. By “roasting” its competitors and engaging positively with their consumers, Wendy’s saw an incredible rise in engagement levels with their audience after they decided to begin responding to people with a quick and witty tone. This tactic led to their Twitter following increasing from 2.1 million to 2.4 million in only six months. If you’re failing to see the challenge in gaining 300,000 followers within a few months, take a long, hard look at your 100 or 1,000 followers and think about how long it took you to get to that.

Wendy’s Twitter followers grew by 300,000 in only six months following their increased social media presence. In turn, their profits grew by 49.7% from 2016 to 2017.

Since the beginning of their Twitter takeover, Wendy’s following on social media isn't the only growth they’ve seen. In 2017, Wendy’s saw a 64.4 million dollar revenue increase, this is a 49.7% growth in profit from the year before. On top of this, for the first time in their history, Wendy’s sales exceeded the $10 billion global sales target. This kind of growth would not have happened for Wendy’s if it weren't for their large and interactive social media presence.  

 

Wendy’s fires a tweet at one of their top competitors, McDonald’s.

Social media connects the consumer directly to the producer in a new, technological relationship like we’ve never had before, and allows companies to adjust, readjust and progress as they see fit very quickly compared to even just a few years ago. You are able to create partnerships with regular people who have large followings and huge fan bases, communicate with your audience and receive feedback if not immediately, then almost immediately, interact with your audience and consumers in new, advanced partnerships that we haven’t seen before.

Technology has completely transformed the way we conduct our everyday lives, so of course, that concept flows into and effects the producer/consumer relationship as well. Everyone has everything at the touch of a finger nowadays, the trick is to learn how to capture and utilize this advantage into a skillset, and be able to prevail in the developing world of technology, Wendy’s is just one example of this mindset coming to life. Technology and social media are taking over our world and neither plans on slowing down anytime soon, so instead of letting these advancements exhaust and deplete your business, you need to educate yourself and your employees on the ins and outs of everything tech, and develop your brand to fit the continuously advancing world that is all-around all of us.