8 Reasons Why Social Media Is Important For Your Business
According to Social Media Examiner, 97% of small businesses use social media to attract new clients, but 85% of business owners don’t have a strategy or know where to start. What’s more, is 63% of consumers who search for businesses online are more likely to become consumers of brands with an established social media presence.
There is a a huge potential for social media marketing to increase sales but a lack of understanding on how to achieve those results. Not to mention the time it takes. In this day in age, the consumers are there, they’re talking about your industry / product / services but you’re nowhere to be found. Your competitor on the other had is there. Listening, interacting, and engaging your customers.
Social media marketing is no longer an option, it’s essential.
WHY? It brings awareness to your customers and potential customers. It validates your brand. It opens conversation and builds a community around your brand and promoting your products and services. When those customers are nurtured correctly it build trust, drives traffic and sales, and builds loyalty, which brings repeat customers and referrals.
Having a social media presence without an active social media marketing strategy can be just as catastrophic for your business as having no plan at all.
After all we always say marketing is like flirting, with out it, it’s like winking at someone in the dark. You know you’re doing it, but no one else does.
Let’s delve into why you need social media for your business:
1) It’s where your customers are
If you’re client demographic owns a smart phone and is under the age of 65, I bet 97% of them are on some sort of social media.
Don’t believe me? Next time you’re in public, pretty much anywhere, you’ll see people staring at their phone and it’s usually a social media site they’re looking at.
Between big data and digital tracking you could be putting your products and services in front of people who visited your site, drove by your store, or are even in the market for your product or service but don’t know you exist. All while they’re waiting in line at the grocery store.
And I promise you it’ll cost 94% less than if you paid to put an advertisement banner in that very spot.
2) If done right, it costs very little and has a high return.
There’s one very relatable meme going around that can sum this up:
If you don’t know how this is done and you own a business, hire a digital marketing expert immediately (ahem).
When this happens to you it means there’s a digital marketing ninja behind this brand that knows how to utilize all the resources.
This usually doesn’t cost the business too much money. Why? Because it’s a super targeted approach. When you know your customer, who they are, where they are, and what they want it’s a smaller size that the ad is served to.
Unlike television, billboards, and print that utilizes what I fondly refer to as the spray and pray: throw it out there to LOTS of people, spend a bunch of money, and pray it is shown to someone who is in the market for your product or service, AND they’re paying attention.
for more on this, read my blog post about digital v. traditional marketing.
3) Customer Insight / Social Listening
Back in the day companies would spend a lot of time and money on focus groups. They’d have to advertise. coordinate, and pay people for their time and attention. Today all it takes is to open your phone or computer and with the right resources you can open one ap and see all the conversations around your business.
What is social listening?
It isn’t to be confused with social monitoring. The best way we’ve heard it described by Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights:
“Monitoring sees trees; listening sees the forest.”
It enables you to get a feel for what your customers are saying about you and your business to:
Track overall brand health
Create content your audience engages with
Generate ideas for marketing campaigns
Improve your customer experience (this one is HUGE)
Drive strategic product decisions
4) Sales and Leads
I recently moved to a new city and was in need of someone to do my hair. I’m a blonde, and if you aren’t aware you need someone who can do blonde really well or it looks grey or yellow or even worse like zebra stripes. The first place I went was Instagram. I need to see someone’s work before I let them have free reign of my hair. I’ve spent A LOT of money with people based on their Instagram accounts.
While this is only one example, and I realize not every business needs or can to display their work, but it’s still great for building trust with potential clients, creating awareness, and nurturing the relationship with past clients that have the potential to be clients again.
If you’re using social media to as a broadcast platform to talk at your customers and not as part of your marketing strategy, you’re wasting your time.
5) 3.196 billion global social media users in 2018, equaling 42% penetration.
This needs no comment. The statistic speaks for itself. Source: We Are Social
6) Reputations can be enhanced or destroyed on social media
Reputation has a direct correlation with sales.
Don’t believe me? Look at Chipotle’s sales numbers when they had the ecoli outbreak… twice.
Or United after the viral posts of a guy getting dragged off the plane, then again when they made the lady put her puppy in the overhead bin and it died.
Even if there are disparaging, and possibly untrue, comments about your business, it’s not the end of the world. Savvy business will take it as an opportunity to correct it.
7) Social media influences purchasing decisions.
When social media was fairly new to businesses (and in general) it was all about audience building and engaging with customers. As social media has evolved it’s turning towards sales and investing heavily in it’s advertising solutions to lure marketers in. And it’s working, with Facebook’s API marketers can upload their contact lists and show ads to those people, as well as find people that have the same demographics and interests. Which is something EVERY business needs to do.
“Nearly half (46%) of social media users are already using social platforms while thinking about making a purchase. 40% of users are actively deciding what to buy based on what they have seen on social media platforms, including reviews and recommendations, and this is only set to grow.” -smartinsigts.com
Consumers are 92% more likely to trust their peers over advertising when it comes to purchasing decisions.
67% of consumers surveyed say they are likely to purchase an item or service they see on their social feeds.
you need to plan how to encourage people to share and talk about your products.
There are subtle differences between the role each social network plays in the purchase cycle. For example, Pinterest is a great place for people to find inspiration and works well as a visual product storyboard. Facebook is well suited to people looking to share content and find promotions.
Without a clear strategy, how do you know what role these networks can and should play in your customers’ buying cycles? How do you know you’re not losing out on potential sales, or trying to sell to people who aren’t looking to be sold to?
8) Your competitor is probably on social media and they’re talking to your customers.
It’s not uncommon to find a business with a social media profile anymore, but it is very common to find business on social media with no strategy. Nothing makes me do a face palm more than hearing someone say, “oh our receptionist is in her 20’s so she can do our social media.” Or “why would we pay someone to sit on facebook all day when I have 6 millenials that work for me who already do that”.
Your lack of strategy is handing over the advantage over to your competitors, as well as a little extra in their bank account.
With no digital marketing / social media strategy how will you know which content is contributing to the business positively? What if it’s actually putting people off your brand?
With no structured approach to communication and measurement, you risk wasting resource on undirected activity. Meanwhile, savvier competitors will be working smarter at engaging customers based on clear goals, objectives and targets so performance is being measured, rather than results reported.
Really, there are a lot more reasons your business should be utilizing social media AND have a strategy around it. It’s not enough to just be on it and use it as an announcement board.
Ro & Lo Co offers a free no obligation digital analysis of your business and a free consultation. Plus, we give back a percentage of what you spend to a non profit of your choice in your business’ name. Let us help you be great while doing great.