As a child, my mom always told me to eat my vegetables, especially carrots because they were supposed to help my horrible eyesight.  It was probably my kind mother’s attempt to end the social suicide I was forced to commit every time I stepped out onto my elementary school playground with my 2-inch thick coke-bottle glasses.

I’m sure your parents had you eat your veggies too, but not necessarily with the same motivation my mother gave me.  You were probably told you would grow stronger muscles, or get taller by eating that broccoli or that unappetizing mushy serving of peas.  Whatever tactic they used, it can be classified as good parenting since vegetables have a myriad of health benefits that every child should have.

Disregard the fact that I don’t have any children for a moment and let me give you your motherly dose of advertising “vegetables.”  Let’s talk about what can make your company grow bigger and stronger through the use of social media with the top 10 advantages (in no particular order) of social engagement:

1. Staying relevant. Every company’s nightmare should be losing touch with their target audience.

2. Being present. Consumers expect to see you on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, so don’t disappoint.

3. Increasing SEO. The more you put yourself out there, the higher you’ll be on the search engines.

4. Gaining market intelligence. Monitoring and interacting through social media can give you priceless insight into what makes your consumers tick.

5. Influencing brand evangelists. Social media can fuel the fire of your brand evangelists’ devotion.

6. Resolving concerns. You can turn a bad review or nasty complaint into a happy customer.

7. Connecting with consumers. Showcase your wit, humor and overall shining personality to develop a closer relationship with your consumers.

8. Expanding your reach. You can go beyond your current fan-base and reach friends of your fans to expand your brand influence.

9. Listening to the buzz. By listening to what is being said about you and your industry, you can keep a finger on the pulse of your brand to determine when it may need a bit of a jump.

10. Establishing thought leadership. Don’t be left in the dust of a competitor’s social media strategy.

From someone who listened to her mother’s advice and eventually did ditch the coke-bottle glasses, here’s my advice: don’t commit social suicide!  Eat your social media vegetables daily.  You’ll see results if you maintain a healthy diet of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, blogging…and all the rest of those social media platforms that will keep your business going strong.