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Social media is a powerful tool for businesses to use. It can help you generate more revenue, reach customers all over the world, and keep your company top of mind. Below are five ways social media can impact a business:

1) Market Research

Social media can help you crowdsource valuable information on your target audience. For example, ask them if you’re trying to figure out what words and phrases people type into search engines when looking for a product like yours. You’ll find some keywords or questions that crop up repeatedly.

2) Sales

Did you know that 25% of people look for coupons or deals? That means, if your social media strategy includes having a discount code on Twitter and Facebook, there’s the potential to generate massive sales. And who doesn’t love significant savings?! One great way brands are using this is by offering exclusive discounts through their company pages. Starbucks, for example, provide a coupon code that is only valid on Twitter.

3) Customer Service

Social media is a fantastic way to give your customers a direct line of communication with you and vice versa. You can use Twitter and Facebook for customer service issues and complaints and ask questions about the products they like or don’t like. People love knowing that companies care enough to respond on social media, and it can make them feel closer to your brand. When companies fail at customer service on social media – like the infamous Comcast incident – they pay for it big time (in their stock). Be sure you’re always there with a response when unhappy customers are looking for an answer.

4) Public Relations

It’s important to respond when customers have a complaint and get in front of the conversation. Suppose you can find ways to be transparent on social media and show that your business is relatable. In that case, people will start spreading positivity about your company for you (the same way they’d do it offline). This is one of the best ways to generate awareness for your brand. Public relations is one of the most potent tools social media has given businesses, and it’s worth taking advantage of.

5) Product Development

Last but not least, social media can help you create new products. 29% of people on Facebook are willing to share their opinions on brands and products with friends, so why not take advantage? Ask what they want or need from your company. You might find that there’s a product out there that no one even knew they wanted.