In this modern age, it’s essential for businesses to have a web presence. But while most small businesses have managed to get on board and create a website, many don’t go any further. For a lot of business owners, particularly from older generations, the words “social media” can instill fear and even anger. Why should you be forced to use these networks that you don’t understand and have no desire to learn about? But the world of business, no matter which industry you’re in, is no place for anyone stuck in the past. Social media is a valuable marketing tool in the twenty-first century, and there are no two ways about it. If you need convincing that it’s an essential tool for you to market your business, here are just a few good reasons.
Having a web presence now involves a lot more than simply creating a website. A site is a good start, but it’s not the best way to have conversations and interact with your audience. If you want more people to see you, who wouldn’t find you through search engines or looking for you directly, you need to use social media. It gives you access to millions of people who you probably couldn’t dream of noticing you if you only market offline. As well as the organic attention you’ll get through your tweets, posts or other activity, there are social media ads too. You can raise your brand awareness using whichever platforms best suit your purposes.
Access to Your Audience
You can guarantee that your audience are on social media. Young or old, a huge proportion of the population is active on Facebook, Twitter or other platforms in some way. Getting your business on social media gives you direct access to your target market. It encourages them to come to you and interact. When they like your page or follow you, you know they’re interested in hearing what you have to offer them. It’s also an excellent way to discover more about your audience. You can use information about the people who follow and interact with you to work out their likes, dislikes, behavior and more.
Better Customer Service
If you already have social media pages for your personal life, you might have used it to get direct access to a company. If you have a small query or you’re struggling to contact someone by phone or email, social media can be extremely useful. You can ask a question whenever you want and wait for someone to get back to you. Sometimes the answer is instantaneous and sometimes you have to wait a little longer, but you’ll usually get an answer. The benefits of this for businesses are numerous. You can respond to customer queries quickly and directly, being both friendly and informative. You can deal with small enquiries efficiently, without the time and cost of doing it over the phone. Whether you have someone monitoring your social media 24/7 or you only check it a couple of times a day, it provides a direct line between your brand and customers.
Industry Contacts and Networking
Have you seen one of those social media conversations between brands that have gone viral? There are lots of them, even between businesses who are directly in competition with each other. It turns out that people love to see mortal enemies interacting with each other. And they enjoy seeing different brands they like interacting too. Social media is ideal for creating relationships with brands in your industry and those with similar interests.
You can use different platforms to connect with related brands and products. For example, an outdoor store could follow an adventure touring company on Twitter. They could have conversations with them and even run competitions and offers together. Then you might get people enjoying two seemingly unrelated brands they like interacting too. Don’t just connect with those that are directly related to your business. Use social media as an opportunity to show your brand’s personality. You can talk about about culture, arts, and entertainment.
Search engine optimization is all important in the world of online marketing. If you want your brand to be seen, you need to know about what search engine algorithms are looking for. Being on social media will help you get seen by search engines, and therefore by people who are conducting searches. Sharing links to your website and content on your social media pages will make you more visible. When you share things with your followers and fans, they’ll share them too and your search ranking will improve.
Target Audiences More Accurately
Social media has lots of tools to help you target your audience more accurately, especially if you use their ad networks. For example, if you wanted to set up an advert on Facebook, you can choose from a number of demographics to help you reach the right people. You could choose a country, gender, age and interests that you want the people who see your ad to match. It helps you get the right kind of content to the correct audience, instead of people seeing things that are relevant for them.
The Cost Factor
When it comes to marketing, as with any business practices, cost is a concern. If you’re looking to reduce the amount that you spend on marketing, social media is one of the best tools you can use. It’s extremely low-cost, even if you decide to use paid adverts on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Of course, it’s not completely free, even if it seems like it is. You still have to put time into it, which will mean either you or someone you hire will have to dedicate at least part of each day to working on your social media strategy. But you can spend as little money on it as you want, depending on how much you want it to become a part of your marketing activities.
You should be convinced by now that social media is something with which your business needs to be involved. It could give your company a huge boost and greatly improve your brand awareness.