Social media has invaded basically every facet of our daily lives. Sometimes for better, sometimes for much, much worse. Just ask Kim Kardashian…
The (Internet) age-old question many business owners and marketing managers are asking themselves is: should I use social media for my business?
The answer is yes. Not maybe. Not kind of. Not only if you’re in a certain industry. The answer is yes - all the time, yes.
Doing billboards and TV commercials are great. And if you’re made of money, you should do them as often as possible. If you’re like the rest of us, you have a budget and need to get a lot of bang for your buck; social media is a great option.
All the major social networks are free to use. That’s a good start. All it takes is the time and effort to consistently post content that will be useful and engaging to your target customer. Since essentially everyone with internet access uses some sort of social media, you know your audience will be there. The trick is connecting with them. More on that later.
It keeps you top of mind.
Depending on your product/service, you might not always be able to close a sale immediately. Take us, for example. Starting a marketing campaign, branding a business, or building a new website isn’t exactly an impulse buy.
But when they are ready, we want them to think of us first. That’s why we keep our customers engaged on social media all year round. Whether we’re providing a useful ebook, sharing helpful articles, or just a posting a photo of COO Andy eating a Paczki, it all adds up to keeping us engaged with our current and potential clients on social media.
It’s an effective advertising tool.
Where people go, ads will follow. And since everyone is on social media … well, you get the picture. While social media can still be used as a way to organically connect with potential customers, the real value of social media for businesses is shifting away from the standard post and toward the paid advertisement.
For marketers, this is actually a good thing. These aren’t as disruptive as traditional ads, and what’s even better, they cost way less. And I mean WAY less. This allows you to get connected with new people and drive your following (this is what I was getting to in the first topic), as well as marketing new offers to your existing network.
I won’t get into too much detail here. If you want to know more, check out this article on Facebook Ads.
It’ll drive website traffic.
Odds are, your business already has a website (if not, I highly recommend it). But what good is a website if nobody goes to it? Using social media is an awesome way to drive traffic to your website and eventually to you.
Generating website traffic from social is easy. All you have to do is create a piece of content on your site that would be interesting and useful to your audience. In our case, that’s writing an article like this one. You then share this content via social media. This links users back to your website and sets them up to explore your company.
Before you do this, make sure your website is up to snuff. Your site should be something that represents your brand well, is easy to use, has clear calls to action, and is viewable on all devices (you can learn more about that here).
It showcases your brand.
The whole point of creating a logo and brand is for people to see it, right? Well people see stuff on social media, so they should see you there too.
Every business, no matter the industry, has a great story to tell. Use social media to tell that story and how you help your customers achieve their goals. This sets you up as a trusted expert and can peak the interest of potential buyers.
It’s a two-way conversation.
Social media is different from every other form of marketing in that it is a two-way communication tool. You have the opportunity to engage with your audience directly, and that’s rare. Take advantage of it! Comment, Like, share, and communicate with your audience as much as possible. After all, it could be your first point of contact with a new client.
Using social media is also a great way to monitor your reputation. Think of social media as a huge cafeteria. How will you know if Stacy is spreading rumors about you kissing Billy under the bleachers if you eat your lunch in the hallway? If you’re part of the conversation, you can maintain your good rep and respond to any negative feedback you receive, which can earn you major customer service points.
It generates leads.
Social media has the potential to funnel tons of great leads to your business, if done correctly. The key to generating leads is all about creating useful content that users will want to go to your website to get. This means taking the time to create this content and making sure it’s well-written.
Here’s how we do it. We start by creating a content offer that our target audience will be into. We then promote that piece of content via social media (and other avenues). When a user clicks the link, they are offered the content for free in exchange for their email address. Once we have that, our sales team can follow up with the lead and the close deal.
If that’s not enough reason to get your business on social media, then I don’t know what is. You’re already online, so what are you waiting for? Get your social media game going.