OK. Listen up people. We need to talk about why you need social media for business, and more specifically, why it’s so gosh darn important.
You may be thinking, “But I already know that, duh. That’s why I’m here!” But do you? DO YOU REALLY, BARBARA?
Sorry, I got a little carried away there. The truth is if I were to ask many business owners why they need social media marketing, they’d realize they don’t have an actual answer. Maybe just a *shrug* and “Because everyone else is doing it.”
Well if you’re just doing something “because everyone else is doing it,” you’re eventually going to burn our and lose motivation to keep doing it.
I think many people use social media for business simply because they’ve heard that they should or they see others doing it so they feel they need to to be relevant, but social media really is a valuable marketing tool. And here’s why.
First, it can be used to drive targeted traffic to your website. If you know who your audience is on each platform, you’ll know where you can get the most traffic for a specific type of people.
Plus social media ads are relatively inexpensive compared to other channels and the targeting options are insanely specific. Seriously. It kind of creeps me out how much Facebook knows about us.
For example, did you know you can target people who are “looking to move within six months?”
They know everything about us!
You can also target people who have visited your site but didn’t make a purchase or sign up for your list, and with beacon technology can even track people who viewed your ad and then came into your store later.
It’s freakin’ scary and cool all at the same time.
Another reason social media is a great business strategy is because you can build solid relationships. I’ve made great connections through social media.
In fact, I was previously a marketing manager at a startup here in Los Angeles, and I got that job while I lived in Oklahoma by having connected with a fellow social media marketer online a year or two earlier. (If you’re really interested, you can read about that here.)
I’ve also gotten clients from people who have found me on Instagram and Twitter. While this may seem like it’s only beneficial to a freelancer or blogger, business owners who sell an actual product may connect with other business owners who have great connections.
In addition to building relationships with potential clients and business partners, social media can help you build loyalty and affinity with your customers.
When you portray a consistent message across channels and are actively engaging with them, you make your customer feel like he or she kind of knows you and what you’re all about.
You can also quickly find out how people respond to a new idea, concept or message. This is probably one of my favorite things about social media, and why I got so excited about it in the first place.
For the first time ever, businesses are able to put out a message and find out within seconds what their audience thinks about it! How cool is that!?
Think about it. All other forms of advertisement, like television, direct mail, and even email marketing takes some time before you get any feedback.
Social media is a great vehicle for testing an advertising campaign or idea before implementing it on other channels.
Another reason social media is important is it is a great customer service vehicle if you are using it correctly.
This is actually a HUGE benefit to social media and I could literally create an entire book on this alone.
But to throw out just some of the reasons it’s great for customer service, if there’s a problem with something you can find out immediately, and your other customers can literally watch you solve someone else’s problem – think about it. If you have great phone customer service, few people are going to know that unless they’ve called in with a problem of their own, right?
You can also reap huge benefits from having a great company by people leaving good reviews, and there are now tons of apps and tools to help you or your team manage customer service on social.
Want another reason? Your competition is doing it. I know I said a lot of businesses just get on social media because they see their competitors do it, but even though it isn’t the only reason, it is still a valid one.
If your competitor is reaching an audience that you’re not in front of, they’re going to steal some valuable dollars from you. But keep in mind, you can actually hurt yourself even more by having a bad social media presence while your competition has a good one.
However, that’s not going to be a problem for you, because you’re going to read my 20 Campaigns You Can Steal Right Now workbook so you can start creating campaigns of your own!
Finally social media is great for brands because, you can play with the big guys without having to be one. Which is the point of an upcoming course that I’m creating! But that’s info saved for another day … 🙂
Although big brands will obviously have a big budget, you get access to the exact same audiences they do.
Think about it – you probably couldn’t afford to buy a TV spot for the Super Bowl, but both you and Coca Cola are able to reach people on the same platform at the same time.
Plus, practically anything can go viral nowadays, and since the “equation” for making something go viral is basically a load of crap, you have just as much of a chance as any other brand.
Once you implement one or more of the social media campaigns I mention in my workbook, your social presence will look just as cohesive, relevant and fun as their’s, making your small business look like a big brand with an entire marketing team behind your work.
You could pay an agency, consultant or manager around $3,000 to $7,000 per month, but I know for many businesses, that’s simply not a feasible option.
While my workbook (and upcoming course) simply can not replace a brand-specific strategy, by implementing these campaigns, you’re knocking out a large majority of the work that hiring a person or team could be doing for you.