Social media is here to stay. If you are a business owner burying your head in the sand and waiting for the 'fad' to pass, you would be foolish. 92% of marketers claim that social media marketing is important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. (Hubspot 2014)
Wow! Still wondering why your business should be using social media? There was a time that just having a website was all that was needed to market your business online, but now days if you don?t have a social media presence, many customers see that as a negative.
Being on social media platforms (and using them effectively) increases your visibility. Having your updates drip fed in people's news-feeds helps to spread your latest news and makes you accessible to them, helping to make you become a familiar face / voice.
When you post and engage with your audience you build an on-line relationship, helping to build trust. Sharing your expertise on your social media platforms will increase your credibility, all helping to encourage your audience to convert to a customer. Every engagement on your social media accounts by your audience increases your reach, the more people who get to hear about you, the more opportunities to convert them into customers!
Keep the communication channels open and encourage your customers to come back to the person they trust, for more.
If someone knows about your website, they will find it. But what about those who don't know about it? Social Media platforms link to your website and increase the opportunity for people to find out what you can offer them. The more social media platforms you use, the more potential to direct traffic to your website. Providing quality posts which link to a specific webpage (don't make them search!) will help to increase traffic and generate more opportunities for converting your social media audience into customers. Being active on social media tells search engines that your brand is credible; this can help with your website SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Social Media platforms are often used to communicate with a business, no different than using the phone or emails. These platforms give the opportunity to connect in real time with our audience and customers and we can demonstrate great customer service through them. Don't shy away from complaints if you are unlucky enough to get them, show you have taken their comments on board then suggest contacting them directly, taking the complaint from the public eye. You will be seen to be helpful and responsive to your audience and that you are able to deal with critics in a positive way. When you get compliments, act quickly then too, say thank you and share this with your audience across your other social media platforms.
Using the social media insights available to access valuable information that will enable you to find out more about your audience and monitor how well your accounts are working. If your accounts are working well for you then continue as you are, if they are not, then change things!
Find out what people are saying about you online, especially on social media and react to it. If what you read is positive then that is great. But what if what they are saying is negative and you don't know about it. How would you be able to rectify this if you are in the dark? Search for your business name on social media and search engines and watch what is being said about you. There are websites that can help with this. Search for keyword or phrases on social media to find an audience that you haven't yet connected with. 'I got engaged would be a great key phrase if you are in the wedding industry and you wanted to connect with brides-to-be!
This is often overlooked by business owners. Do you do this yet? What social media platforms are your competitors using? Are they on social media platforms that you are not? Their audience is your potential audience. A potential audience is your potential customer!
Watch what they are posting. Does it work for them, is it something you could replicate or make better on your own page? Has something back fired for them, which is a great warning not to do the same!
Have you got a social media strategy? If you spent as little as a couple of hours a week, in an goal orientated way, this can help with your social media marketing. A couple of hours of your time is a good investment, focus on your goal, think of relevant posts and schedule the posts. Then do not visit your page again unless you have a notification that someone is communicating on your page. (Then go in and keep the conversation going)
If you paid for help a couple of hours a week, it is a small price to pay out of your marketing budget. Even if you paid to promote your accounts or place targeted adverts on your social media accounts, it would work out cheaper than an advert in a local or national paper.
You know, the way we used to have to do it!