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Social networks can help businesses

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The growing attraction of social media to people of all ages has immense benefits. IFE ADEDAPO writes on its usefulness in the business world

Right from inception, the Internet has found application among researchers in Nigeria because they are able to obtain more information that the libraries have not been able to provide, coupled with its use to carry out research online by acting as the main engine for exchanging information and publishing.

The use of the Internet by teens has always been discouraged due to its negative effects in terms of exposure to sexual predators, possible addiction, increased isolation, reduced communication with family members.

However, experts say that people of all ages have a wealth of information that will shape their future by connecting with people on the social networks.

A report by blog.bufferapp shows that people between the age bracket of 45 and 54 years are the fastest growing population on both Facebook and Google+, social media has overtaken porn as the number one activity on the web and 93 per cent of marketers use social media for business and 25 per cent of smartphone owners between 18 and 44 years disclose that they can’t recall the last time their smartphones was not next to them.

Experts say these statistics just show that the predominant population on social networks is not just young people, older people are learning how to use them more, which means that lots of people are getting involved and using the social media strategy.

Businesses also are beginning to include social media as part of their overall marketing budget or strategy, as opposed to when it was the outlier that no one wanted to spend time or money on.

Moreover, they say it is difficult to stay in touch with loved ones for business-minded people but with the arrival of some social networking platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest their locations pose a barrier to communicating with them.

The ability to do this efficiently, according to professionals, is because the Internet technology pays no attention to geographical boundaries and provides possibilities for interaction.

Revenue-generating potential

A digital marketer, Mr. Paul Gbadamosi, says that a lot of people make their daily living form the active use of social networks.

According to him, it can be achieved by building a community of followers or by advertising your products or services within the social media platform.

He advises that ads posted should have a link that will redirect the readers to the business’ social media page or the business website.

He says, “If you choose to advertise on social media, the ads can either link back to your business’ social media page or sometimes to your website. This can mean that you’re able to benefit from social media without needing to have a channel.”

Announce new products

Gbadamosi says that new initiatives can be unveiled on the social media in order to create awareness for people.

Roll out new products and services on social media and forum boards and include a link for people to respond directly to a page on your website.

He says, “Provide a link on each post concerning the new products and services to the business website. Provide spe¬cially-worded contact forms on that page can help you to discern cus¬tomers who contacted you from the Facebook, Twitter or other platforms.

“Using a good analytics programme, you can determine how much traffic you gener¬ated from the announcement.”

Brand development

Using the social media consistently, sharing useful information and interacting with people regularly will allow your customers to connect and interact with your business as a brand, Gbadamosi says.

He adds that people who already have a strong brand may develop it further, increase awareness and address customers’ complaints.

Attracting customers

Gbadamosi says when social media campaigns are launched, giveaways and promotions can be used to attract followership.

He says, “For example you can tell your followers to complete a task and post such pictures with the promise of gifts items to be given to people with the best results.

This method will increase your number of followers and once you have a good following, you can focus on more personalised social media campaigns to encourage them to stay.

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