Social media websites provide a way for people to communicate online and get engaged with their favorite businesses. Social websites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are among the most popular and most visited on the Internet. Many of their users check their accounts every day. Here are ten great ways you can use social media to better connect with your fans and aid your business.

1. Improve Customer Service

Social websites sites give your customers direct access to your business. This gives you an opportunity to listen to what they have to say and learn how they feel about your business. By being responsive and offering them access, social media works wonders for your customer service.

2. Manage Customer Complaints

Social media website lets your customer leave feedback, and that includes complaints. When they complain or criticize your business, this actually provides invaluable feedback for you. It also gives you an opportunity to repair your image and leave a thoughtful response that shows other customers that you care.

3. Share Real-Life Customer Stories

Social proof can be a powerful tool to establish your company’s credibility. Social media websites provides many opportunities to obtain real testimonials from your customers. These testimonials can be seen instantly by anyone else who accesses your profile.

4. Get Your Employees Involved

Your social media websites can help with idea development. Provide your employees with a platform where they can share their ideas and feedback. It can also help you keep in touch with employees, offer newsletters, updates and employee incentives.

5. Boost Customer Loyalty

Your profile can be used to run customer loyalty programs. Offer incentives, discounts and rewards to loyal customers. You can handle all of this through your social media website, and can skip the old punch card system altogether.

6. Attract New Business

Having a social media presence gives you free advertising on the world’s biggest message board. People can now find your business profile through Web searches, their friends profiles and social searches. This can be a great way to attract new customers.

7. Get to Know Your Market

Social media provides a useful too for understanding your target market. It’s easy to see exactly who enjoys your products and services, as well as what their other interests are. Companies spend millions on market research to gather the exact same information that you can obtain for free on social media networks.

8. Create a Brand Message

Communicate your brand message to customers and visitors through social media channels. Every brand has a message, and this is the perfect channel to communicate that message to your customers.

9. Connect Everything

By integrating your social media websites with your business blog or website, you can actually generate more traffic and prospects. Plugins and widgets let you link everything together for maximum exposure.

10. Use Multimedia

Many social media websites provide multimedia applications. You can put together a welcome video that shows what your company is all about, or offer a streaming podcast to your customers. These can help by branding your business and giving it a more personal touch, as well as providing value to your visitors.

The most important thing to remember about social media websites is that people don’t use these sites to go shopping. They use social media them to socialize, share common interests, network and talk to friends. Make your page an interactive place where they can get involved with your business and spend time. This keeps your brand in their mind and whenever they’re ready to buy, they will come to you.