More Canadian businesses are capitalizing on the advantages of social media, although many in the country are slow to make the transition to this new form of marketing, the Calgary Herald reports.
According to a survey by Business Insights, 47 per cent of Canadian companies said they plan to use social media for sales and marketing purposes. This number is low considering the fact that more than 81 per cent of private companies say they are looking to grow and expand, with sales and marketing being the primary means of doing so. Despite the opportunities available on social platforms, 28 per cent of businesses surveyed said they don't plan to use any social media.
"This is a huge missed opportunity," Aayaz Pira, director of PwC's Technology Consulting & Digital Transformation Practice, told The Calgary Herald. "Social media gives consumers a voice to be part of the business and the ability to collaborate with companies to develop the products and services they want."
The majority of the benefits surrounding the use of social media involve the engagement with potential customers. Most consumers want to feel as though their voice is being heard by companies, and the ability to give immediate feedback on a product, is something appealing to many. Other advantages include building relationships with members of target markets, free or lower cost marketing platforms and the ability to connect with new audiences.
There are some disadvantages to using social media, with most of them revolving around the unknown factors and costs involved in using this form of marketing. Many businesses are unaware of things such as the labour involved in maintaining profiles, the cost of creating professional or branded pages and the lack of hard data regarding the return on investment. Measuring the success has long been a problem relating to social media, as many companies are unsure of how to translate their business to an online format.
Setting up a social media profile for a business is easy, but keeping it updated is another story. In many cases, one worker is assigned to maintain multiple profiles and keep them active and updated. These employees must also build a rapport with the audience, respond to feedback and relay comments to the proper parties.
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