“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it” Erik Qualman
Social media is here to stay and love it or loathe it on a personal level, the impact it can have on a business should never be underestimated.
Here are our top picks on why businesses need to get social.
Never has it been easier to get your brand in front of your audience. No more paying ‘big bucks’ to advertise in a glossy magazine, you can now reach an audience of thousands through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and all of the other social platforms out there.
Organic growth is possible on social media – 1 person likes your post, their friends see and you get another like, their friends see…and so the spider web grows.
A small budget for advertising on social media is particularly effective on Facebook and Twitter as some very specific targeting options are available. Spend a little (from £5) and you’ll start to see your brand awareness rise.
Some people are scared of social media. They are scared of putting themselves, and their business, ‘out there’ but in my opinion the scary thing is avoiding social media.
If you get a complaint posted on your Facebook page, deal with it. Stay professional, calm and helpful (even if you are seething behind the scenes) and your audience will judge you more on your response than on the original complaint.
NEVER ignore a complaint on social media and I advise clients to only hide comments that are defamatory or in bad taste – hiding any negative feedback can look like you’ve got something to hide and is sure to upset your customer.
Having a presence on social media shows you’re the ‘real deal’ – not being visible on social media is as bad as not having a website.
Would you trust a business without an online presence?
You can also share testimonials and case studies as these build trust. We can all say how great we are but our customers saying it is far more powerful.
Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics are two free tools that business users have access to. They give you a really good insight into who is using your pages – from location to interests and demographics.
You may think you know who your audience is but social media gives you a real insight into who they actually are.
Not all businesses are client facing – do you get to see you customers on a daily basis? Probably not. Social media gives you the opportunity to engage with them and get to know them.
Clever content is key here – asking the right questions and stimulating discussion. Keeping on top of interactions is also important because you don’t want to be seen to be ignoring your audience.
Competitions are a great way to ‘give something back’ and don’t forget to add some personality into your content – this is key to engagement.
Driving traffic to your website
Your website is one of billions that are live – did you know that around 550 websites go live online each minute of each day! Mind blowing!
Social media is a way to drive traffic to your website – linking posts to your website is quick and easy to set up and if you have Google Analytics installed on your site you’ll be able to evaluate which platforms are driving traffic most effectively.
To conclude, why use social media? Seth Godin puts it well:
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”
Telling your story can even be fun..give it a go!