This article originally appeared on the Prime Design Solutions website.

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When used in conjunction with a well-designed website, social media sites can be a powerful tool for promoting your organization. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube now provide your business with a direct link to your most important asset, your customers. If utilized properly, these websites can provide your organization with valuable promotion and insight into your customers’ needs.

One of the greatest benefits of social media networks is their ability to involve the customer. Facebook, for example, allows customers to connect with your business in one click of a button. Once the person is connected, they will have the ability to communicate directly with representatives at your organization as well as with other customers.

This serves two important purposes for your brand. The first is that it engages the customer, essentially making them a part of your company’s creative process. This personal connection helps to develop brand-loyalty within your client base. Actively responding to feedback left by clients will enhance this benefit further. The second is that it provides your business with instant feedback. Comments left by customers can be used to gauge the success of a new product or program, as well as provide insight into potential improvements. You can also pose questions to your network, oftentimes getting results within a matter of minutes.

Another asset of social media websites is the ease by which they can be updated. Any number of moderators from your organization can make posts as frequently as necessary, keeping your brand relevant and at the front of your clients’ minds. You can use these posts to advertise a new promotion or event as well as link viewers to your website where they can learn more about the subject. Many clients find these updates to be less invasive and more personal than an email newsletter.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube also provide your company with another type of advertising, search engine results. Google and other major search engines have begun to use data provided by Facebook pages to generate search results. This extra visibility provides your organization with free promotion that will help you become more recognizable and set you apart from your competitors.