Social Media Marketing! The term is thrown around everywhere these days but is it all hype? Should you be paying attention and jumping on the social media bandwagon? The answer is an unequivocal ‘Yes, you should be paying attention’ especially if you want your business to reap the rewards it has to offer.
First off, let’s discuss why social media is so important when it comes to your marketing plan. The whole concept of social media is tied to the phrase ‘Who do you know?’ It’s all about gathering current and potential clients and getting them to interact with you and your brand and then share with everyone they know. The more people you can get to do that the further your brand’s reach which, in turn, can mean increased revenues, heightened reputation, and more brand awareness. However there are plenty of other benefits when it comes to social media marketing.
Increased Customer Trust and Experiences
When you and your business take part in social media marketing you have a direct line to your customers both current, past, and future, and interacting with those customers can go a long way to building customer trust. We’ve all heard the term ‘transparency’ thrown around on the news a lot these days, but when it comes to social media this openness of communication and accountability is golden. The population in general in this day and age tends to have issues with trust and it’s never been harder to obtain that trust from your customers. Social media marketing offers a unique opportunity to gain that trust through direct sharing and open communication between your brand and its customers.
Social media posts that inform your customers of who you are, what you stand for, and how you do business will give them the ability to open up and trust that you care about them and want to help them with their problems via the products or services you offer. In gaining their trust and walking your talk, they in turn will share their experiences with everyone they know spreading your brand’s reputation and awareness further and further.
This open communication also allows you the opportunity to directly interact with your customers. Should someone have a complaint about your brand or business, social media gives you an immediate way to directly respond to that customer and make the situation right. Also, if a customer is praising your products or services this gives you the opportunity to thank them and offer other products that they might like. This immediate interaction shows your customers that you care and want to serve them in any way you possibly can increasing the quality of their experience with your business.
Increased Website Traffic
Social media is a great way to get increased website traffic for free. When you post product or service information and offers using social media marketing you increase the traffic to your company’s website organically, which in turn can lead to increased sales. Those posts are also generally shared by your followers to their friends, relatives, and colleagues extending your brand’s reach and that of your website to potentially thousands of people that you would have not otherwise had access to.
And while we’re on the subject of your followers sharing your posts, in this article by Forbes it was stated that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of recommendation. It was also stated in research done by Hubspot that 71% of people will purchase products or services based on social media referrals. Those are fairly big numbers to choose to ignore.
Social Media Is Always Available 24/7
Social media marketing is always available 24/7, is faster than traditional marketing, and is real time. All of these benefits are incredibly advantageous to you and your brand. Whereas traditional marketing requires a lot of planning, creating, and waiting before being able to distribute to your customers and followers, social media is constantly available and ready for your marketing efforts at any given moment.
Also, the fact that social media platforms are real-time means that it is really easy to report ‘breaking news’ or ‘events in progress’ when it comes to your brand. Are you having a special event at your business today? Then how about creating some live videos of the promotion and interview people attending and sales people to inform your followers of what’s going on and how they can be a part of the action. This is something that you really can’t do with traditional marketing, and interaction like this with your social media followers can increase your reputation and revenues immediately.
It’s Where Everyone Is At
Social media is not going away anytime soon and statistics are showing that more and more people are using social media when they are looking for a product or service. If you’re not using social media marketing you’re throwing away an amazing opportunity to connect with an ever expanding audience of potential customers.
In an article by Smart Insights it is stated that 76% of the U.S. Population uses one of more social media platforms, and use by the 65 years old and over crowd is now driving social media use growth. These are substantial figures and ones that really shouldn’t be ignored, especially because the older population tends to have access to larger financial means.
It’s also important to know that access to social media platforms via mobile such as smartphones and tablets has grown, and is continuing to grow, at the rate of 35% since 2016. What this means to you is that you can reach potential customers virtually everywhere they are at any moment. That type of access is extremely powerful!
It’s Where Your Competition Is Too!
There are many reasons why this is a benefit. First off, if your competition is taking advantage of social media marketing and you’re not, you’re giving them your customers! Why would you do that? Give your competition a run for their money. Make them work for their customers too.
Also, being where your competition is creates a massive learning experience for you and your brand. It allows you to see what they are doing, what seems to be working, and what doesn’t seem to be working. This knowledge allows you to reinvent the things your competition is doing that seem to be working to serve your brand and customers. It also saves you the time and expense of trying things that don’t work by eliminating the promotions and interactions that your competition is doing that aren’t getting a good return on investment.
Sometimes being where your competition is also creates an opportunity to gain some of their followers and make them customers too. Show your competition’s followers that you can offer better service, brands, or quality and you might just gain more than just followers.
So the bottom line is this, if you’re not on social media you’re leaving a lot on the table that could positively impact your brand and your company’s revenues. Social media marketing is not going to go away anytime soon and its use is increasing exponentially on a daily basis. It’s inexpensive to implement both financially and time-wise and the return on investment is really high. The key is to be consistent both with who you are and what you post. It is also important to make sure your message is honest, clear, and attracts your ideal customers. With a little careful thought and a solid social media marketing plan I think you will find that getting on the social media marketing bandwagon will help your brand achieve its marketing goals.