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Social networks are here to stay, so any business which isn’t already using them to their advantage should be taking a serious look at how their business communication could be improved by getting involved. Facebook, for example, may often be seen as a frivolous time-waster but with 1.59 billion users, it can be the best possible way to reach out to a large amount of your customers and potential customers at once. Here we look at some of the best ways to start gaining maximum advantage from the opportunities offered by social media.

Listen to your customers

With so many people engaged online it makes social media the perfect place to collect the opinions of those who matter most–your customers! Though you might not view a channel as a business social network you can use it to get informal feedback from your customers and ask them how they feel about your brand and services. Listening and engaging with your audience online will show that you care about your brand community and the input of those who are supporting you.

Use video to give a clearer view of what you offer

Written content can be great for SEO but many businesses are now also using the power of social media to make more of a visual connection with their audience. Statistics show that one-third of activity online is being spent watching videos so with that kind of reach it’s no surprise that marketers and firms are seeing it as one of the best avenues for business communication. It doesn’t have to be a complicated process either, as most videos should be quite short at around two minutes or less, so don’t be afraid to get involved and show a more visual side to your business.

Use links as lead generators

Whichever social media channel you choose to use as a business social network you should be aware of the different expectations and characteristics of the people who use it. On Twitter for example, 92% of all tweet interaction is the click-through of links contained in tweets. This makes it very easy to create short and interesting lead-ins, which create awareness and curiosity and encourages your audience to follow through with a visit to your site or a specific landing page.

Customer service through social media

While it’s a great business resource for listening to your customer base it is also expected that you will be there to listen to what your customers are saying, especially complaints or grievances. More than two-thirds of consumers use social media as their preferred channel for customer service. If you aren’t responding to them or worse, aren’t there at all, you are missing a very important opportunity to resolve issues before they have a chance to be spread or to reduce customer churn by addressing individual concerns in a personal manner.

Target specific locations

If you’re looking to break into a new city, country or region, social media channels are a great asset as a business social network. With the ability to focus posts on specific geographical locations you can create and post content specifically for those areas to make sure your material and brand is appearing where you want it to.

If you’re already using social media but feel you could be doing better or are still at the embryonic stages of your social media identity then follow these tips and start using the available tools to your advantage.