Social Media for Business: You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
When social media platforms began trending a few years ago – starting with good old Myspace – they offered a quick and easy way for people to keep in touch with friends and family. Email suddenly became too impersonal, and within the blink of an eye everyone was hooked onto one social network or another. Since then, social media has been growing at an alarming rate; no longer the peaceful, family connection creature it was before. We are at a point where this remarkable Internet creation is a monstrous marketing tool – and I say that in the best possible way. One thing is absolutely certain: as a business owner, you can no longer afford to steer clear of the bandwagon.
Customer Feedback is Happening Whether You’re Connected or Not When people have a brand-related experience to share, whether good or bad, they will share it with their online connections. As a business owner, you need to be plugged into the Matrix in order to catch both positive and negative feedback when it comes along. A collection of positive feedback is a veritable gold mine. Prompt response to customer complaints is even more important simply because your timely interaction shows that client support is one of your strong suits. Funnel Traffic to your Website At this point in the Information Age, you need a website. If you haven’t got one yet, you’re giving your competitors the upper hand. Of course, having a website just doesn’t cut it anymore. While a clever SEO strategy will help you in terms of organic search engine results, it’s risky to place all your eggs in this single basket. With regular posting, social media platforms can help to drive more traffic to your website. Use social media to launch your marketing campaigns or competitions, and you’ll soon find your followers eagerly sharing posts in an effort to promote their favourite brand.
Show Off a Little Social media sites (particularly ones like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest) allow you to showcase your products and services. Upload a few pictures, share a story or two, and ask your clients to post their testimonials. Social media fundis love companies that are committed to interacting with their clients. Regular updates are a must. Use your mobile device to take photos when you’re on the go and allow your followers to feel included. It’s All About Reputation When prospective clients do a search for your business online, one of the first things they will check for is which social media networks you’ve signed up for. Most people are on the hunt for transparency. They only want to deal with businesses that they feel they can communicate with. A regularly updated Facebook page goes a long way in terms of boosting your business’ integrity. Communication is Key Here’s a fun fact: 93% of marketers use social media to communicate with their clients. Facebook alone has over 119 billion active monthly users – that’s an insane pool of potential clients you absolutely can’t afford to miss out on. Over 50% of Twitter users will Tweet about their favourite products or positive brand experiences. A further 90% of Internet users trust online recommendations; it’s word of mouth gone bananas. Shopping Online Made Easy Facebook is rapidly becoming the most multi-faceted marketing tool available to business owners. The most recent addition to the FB toolbox is a “shop now” button which enables followers to complete their purchase without any extra fuss.
There’s no Time to Waste So many business owners out there have taken the plunge. At this point, it’s imperative to join the fray. Of course, simply having your social network profiles up and running isn’t enough. Regular posting and monitoring of activity is key in making it work. You need to engage and garner interest. The keyword here is “social”. If all you’re doing is punting your product, people will quickly lose interest. Post frequency is also important. You can’t expect to engage with your followers if you aren’t willing to put in the time required to keep your page active, hire someone who can do it for you. A small monthly social media management fee pales in comparison to the enormous costs involved with more traditional marketing techniques.