Let’s face it, if you haven’t jumped on the Social Media bandwagon by now, you’re probably stubborn and purposely avoiding it. With 1/3 of the world being on social media and nearly 3 out of every 4 adult internet users being on Facebook, you’re either one of the few still holding out or live under a rock.
Social Media has taken the world by storm and it seems like almost daily there is a new feature, app, or product coming out that makes it that much more important in our lives. These websites have grown far beyond keeping people connected and are now the source of news, research, advertising, and many other business-related elements. It has almost integrated itself in the buying process from searching for information to evaluating purchases. Almost every part of the buying process can be addressed through social media. The worst part? You have no control over it unless you choose to participate, and if you won’t, your competition will.
If you’re still not sold on taking your business social, here are some reasons why you should.
Social Media allows you to get your brand in front of millions. Every opportunity to gain visibility is important for a business, and the ease of accessibility social media provides almost guarantees that your brand is seen by potential customers or users who otherwise may not have ever heard about you without seeing you in a timeline or stream.
Learn About Your Customers
Social Media leverages a ton of actionable customer information. Information about who they are, what they like, and how they feel about your brand can provide substantial insight when making business and marketing decisions. Platforms, like Facebook Business Manager, allow you to analyze who your followers are, what they engage with, where they’re located, and much more. This information may not be available through other traditional methods of marketing.
Gain Valuable Feedback
Engaging with your following on social media allows you to gain feedback on your business, its products/services, and the experience of your customers. Many platforms allow direct reviews and ratings on business profiles, but the ability to interact in real-time by asking questions or posting polls can give your information your business direly needs. Imagine you’re selling a product everyone hates and it’s all over social media, without being on the platform you may never know and your reluctance to use the platforms could cost you your brand.
Engage with Your Customers
Customers want to engage with brands outside of their shopping experience. Creating a connection between your business and customers on a personal level could help ensure their loyalty in the future. The ability to share content and information with a dedicated following allows you to keep customers around and to publish information to them that they find pertinent.
Affordable & Targeted Advertising
Social Media should be an essential part of your marketing efforts. It is less costly and more direct than almost all traditional marketing efforts. Imagine being able to advertise to specific people that are most likely to buy your products and to not waste money on those you know won’t! You can’t get that with television or radio. Social media allows you to pinpoint your audience and to pay for only those who will likely buy. With Television and Radio, you’re paying for time slots based on a number of people watching or listening. You may pay to advertise to 10,000 people, but only three of them buy. Social Media you can advertise to 5 people and get the same three people to buy. Saving you tons of money.
Increase Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Everyone knows that getting your business to rank high on Google or other search engines is valuable. The ability to get in front of users based on them searching for your product is highly effective in converting leads to customers. Being on social media allows for more chatter and more links to your website. The more information directing to your website, the higher your ranking. An easy, but effective way to increase your SEO.
Create Brand Advocates
Brand Advocates are a business’s most loyal customers. Social media allows businesses to establish connections with their customers that, in turn, they share with their trusted following. A company that develops great content, provides great services and makes customers happy will see tremendous inbound customers based on existing customer advocacy. People trust their networks more than they trust businesses. If a friend is advocating for your product, they’re more likely to buy.
It’s not enough to just have social media accounts. You must use them effectively to achieve your business goals and to see big results. When you take your business online, remember to COLLECT.
Create- Develop content that is both relevant to your business and your customers. Be original. Give your followers a reason to stay engaged.
Observe- Watch how your followers interact with your content. Are they sharing, liking, commenting? What are they engaging with, videos, photos, text? Use this when creating future content.
Listen- Listen to your customers. Give them information and content they want. It’s not all about you on social media.
Learn- Take what you see and learn from it. You may not always agree with what you see, but be willing to learn and do new things. Like being personable instead of professional.
Engage- Talk with your followers. Comment back to their comments. Tag them in pictures. Be personal, friendly, and relatable.
Change- ADAPT! You’re already doing it by reading this post. Be ready to change with the times and to change what you’re used to if it isn’t working anymore.
Teach- Be a thought leader. You are an expert in what you do. Don’t be scared to talk about that. Gain a competitive edge in your industry by teaching your followers.
Social Media is here to stay and it is only going to become more integrated into our lives in the future. There is a reason why so many marketing companies have thrown out the traditional marketing concepts and pumped up their digital services. You can use social media to succeed, just remember to COLLECT and watch the results flow in.
Andrew is the Founder & CEO of Tipsy Social. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & is a Masters Candidate in Marketing. He has worked in a multitude of industries and that is why he believes in order to effectively understand marketing you must first understand society and how it interacts.