Many entrepreneurs and companies know that they must have a social media presence, but very few know the real reason why they should be and downplay it. Some mistakenly think that it is only enough to create a profile on the most important social networks of the moment, such as Twitter, Facebook, that no one can impersonate their corporate image. There’s more to a successful social media marketing strategy for businesses and Jose Duarte, an entrepreneur and eCommerce expert from Costa Rica, discusses why a strategy is necessary for success.

Thanks to social media or social networks, entrepreneurs can compete with any company no matter what years it takes in the market or the number of professionals it counts behind it. If things are done right, the Internet can deliver unprecedented growth and achieve the same result that many entrepreneurs are getting thanks to good use of social media. Asserts Duarte, “The secret is that, thanks to social networks, you can contribute the human component and take care of the customer. You can be offered solutions, a better service and can be retained thanks to daily feedback of your comments, your questions, your doubts and the problems you have.”

Anyone or company can open a profile on a social network, so it’s a disadvantage not to. Market competition may be using social media and may be getting a revenue stream that we are not covering. However, it’s important to know that, if you choose to be on a social network, you must be very clear about the strategy that you are going to follow, as well as the objectives. Otherwise, you would be launching a negative image and you would be going without a fixed course. This can take you away from the benefits that social networks can bring.

One of the benefits and objectives that entrepreneurs should focus on as a corporate brand is that of proximity to the customer. Explains Duarte, “You must show that your company provides transparency and that you are concerned about providing consumers with the best possible service. That is why it is best that if you have several employees in a project designated exclusively to them to take care of this work.”

Achieving this goal requires training, time, planning and getting to know the company in depth. In particular, entrepreneurs must support the outsourced task to a community manager, as it will not detract from the productivity of the project or company. The quality of the final product will always be much better than that done by someone who starts and does not know all the terminology and repercussions of poor management.

Social media helps you become more competitive and access potential customers and those you’ve already loyally loyal to from a more human point of view. On social networks goods or services are not sold, but the truth is that, thanks to the work you do on them, you will get, if you do well, support from consumers on the other side, offering them the solution to that problem that they are having through an interesting post on your blog or solving a specific question raised on Twitter. Adds Duarte, “This closeness and immediacy are understood as a positive thing on the part of the user, who discovers that on the other side of a brand or corporate name is a person who listens and understands their needs.”

But being on social media doesn’t mean making it meaningless. It’s not enough to open a profile on all of them and neglect it frequently. If you are, you have to be 100%. That’s why it’s good that you choose which social network you want to be present on. Perhaps for your type of business, visual content is essential to bring your product or service closer together in a more enjoyable and instructive way, so you may not have to have Twitter and a YouTube channel. Or, if your users access your page for quality information, sharing your blog posts on Facebook will be the best gateway to capture potential leads on your website.

Well-used social media can become the best advertising of all, but it requires time and a good investment if you opt for a good community manager. Social media is the word of mouth of the digital age and, thanks to it, you will be able to constitute the corporate image that you want to offer.

Social media isn’t just about making a couple of posts a month and responding from time to time to messages that reach us on different social networks. If you think that, you’re not taking full advantage and all the benefits they can offer your business.