Social media has quickly become one of the most popular marketing channels for online promotion. Social media marketing is no longer about telling your customers what to buy or why your products are the best. It is about engaging with your customers, talking with them, and even more importantly, listening to them. By becoming part of your customers’ social network, your brand will acquire their loyalty and they will become your best ambassadors. To accomplish this you will need to change your marketing mindset, and sometimes it may seem too complex to be worth it. Here you will find five reasons to embrace social media to market your company:

Increasing Customer Engagement

Social media marketing is all about conversations, both with your customers and with other players in your niche. If you listen to your customers and engage with them they will become more loyal to your brand, and they will make others aware of it as well. Greater engagement means that social media can help you sell more, but only if done right. Keep in mind that the key to social media engagement authenticity. If your readers think you are just another advertiser or ignore what they say, they will go talk with somebody else.

Reaffirming Your Brand Credibility

It is a fact that companies using social media marketing appear more spontaneous, aware of the times and open. This in turn makes them more trustworthy, and trust is a hot commodity online. Compare an active Twitter stream updating your users almost in real time about issues with your services with a cold, cut and pasted answer from a bored technical support representative. Being an active player in the social media sphere can also help you react quickly to damaging rumours, negative press or angry reviews.

Getting Real Time Feedback

If you have ever engaged the services of a market research company you already know the value, and cost, of knowing what your audience really thinks of your products. Social media is a powerful tool to talk with your potential customers, and see what they think about your latest release or even what features they would like in the next one. This can also be useful if you are looking for a way to start a home business, but you are not really sure about what to do to differenciate yourself from your competitors. If you ask them, they'll tell you. People like knowing the product or service they love also cares about their opinion.

Saving Money

Compared with traditional advertising, social media marketing is extremely low cost. You can create a Twitter account or Facebook fan page for free, and use either to share your content and interact with your followers in exchange for nothing but your time. Even a company blog offers a platform for conversations for just a few dollars a month in hosting. As long as you have the time and the dedication to fully involve yourself in the social media network you do not need expensive tools or certificates to make the most of social media marketing. If you don't know how to get money to start a business, you can use Social Media to generate buzz about your idea, and potentially attract investors.

Going Viral

If you produce content that people want to share, chances are they will use one or several social networks to do it. This way, people who have never heard of your products or services will get to know about you in a positive way, from one of their friends. A competition or a funny video can suddenly go viral and bring large amounts of traffic to your site when your followers tell their followers, who in turn will tell theirs. Social media can be to promotion like a ball of snow rolling down a mountain becomes bigger and bigger.

Those are just five reasons to use social media marketing in small businesses, but every day marketeers find new uses and benefits of using this new marketing channel to promote and find new audiences. Most companies can benefit from incorporating a measure of social media on their marketing mix, from opening a Twitter account to maintaining a business blog.