Some figures from the following article…
- 94% of business marketers stated that social media is of great importance for building your brand, boosting awareness and providing personalised customer service.
- 2.3 billion users are active on social media this year
- 18% of people turn to social media first for their news
- One-third of customers prefer to use social media platforms to contact businesses
- Over three-quarters of Twitter users who complain directly to companies about their issues expect to have a response or acknowledgement of their tweet within the hour
- More than half of 1000 small businesses interviewed for a recent survey stated that using social media has actually reduced their advertising costs
- 71% of social media users who have a positive experience with a business will be happy to share their details with family and friends
- Facebook was credited for influencing more than half of the purchasing decisions in America alone
The realisation that social media is here to stay
By now you should understand how important it is for your business to use social media. It is a useful way to open up a dialogue and engage with your audience. If you have been around for a while then your social media followers will be a mixture of existing customers, potential future customers and people that have some interest in your business sector or your product or services.
You may have a constant nagging feeling that you should be constantly tweeting on behalf of your company, or trying to maintain some connection with your Facebook followers even when out socialising in your own time.
Social media is 24/7 so sparing 5 minutes to update your accounts can help your business to develop one-to-one relationships and give your company a real-life human face. According to a survey conducted by Hubspot, 94% of business marketers stated that social media is of great importance for building your brand, boosting awareness and providing personalised customer service.
It is true that maintaining a positive social media presence can be hard work, but there is a lot of evidence to prove that the investment of your time and money is well worth the effort.
Being seen where your customers hang out
Just about everyone from grandparents to pre-teens are hanging out on social media these days. Since the launch of social media the world has seen a sharp decline in sales and circulation of traditional printed media such as newspapers and magazines. TV and radio advertising has also taken a nose dive with a lot of people choosing to migrate to the internet to get all the latest news and updates much quicker than ever before.
From a marketing point of view, you would be hard pressed to so easily find such a huge and well-targeted audience anywhere else. There are now 2.3 billion users who are active on social media this year. And the figures are rising!
18% of people turn to social media first for their news source rather than turning on the TV or radio. From a business point of view, this means that the first place that people will find out about you and your products and services will be through your own social media sites. It will also be the first place that they will contact you to ask questions or pass on their opinions and feedback.
But which one should we use?
Choosing which social media platforms to use for your business will all depend on your audience. OK the world domination that Facebook commands may make it seem like ‘the place to be’, but if your business is mainly concerned with B2B marketing, then LinkedIn would make more sense. LinkedIn is like the Facebook for business, so this is where you need to go to attract a business audience rather than a public audience.
Facebook is generally good for reaching a wider audience while millennials will tend to hang out on Snapchat and Instagram. The great thing about using social media is that you can craft your posts and advertising to target specific audiences that you want to reach. Long gone are the days of casting your net wide through newspaper ads that went to everyone and their grandmothers. Marketing through social media is far more cost-effective and you get a much better ROI than via other methods.
The convenience factor
Being that social media is just that – social, it is not a one way street where you simply tell people about your products or services and leave it at that. Over one-third of customers prefer to use social media platforms to contact businesses rather than picking up the phone or typing out a lengthy email.
Over three quarters of Twitter users who complain directly to companies about their issues expect to have a response or acknowledgement of their tweet within the hour. If there is no one there to answer your customer queries, you will have no one speaking on your behalf. Make sure it is a two-way street between you and your followers.
There is no doubt that social media is cheaper than print ads and direct marketing. With those forms of advertising the costs can quickly add up. Social media is a completely free way to connect with a potentially infinite audience for your business, but if you want to invest funds into promotional posts they are far more inexpensive than traditional advertising. More than half of 1000 small businesses interviewed for a recent survey stated that using social media has actually reduced their advertising costs.
Doing it right!
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Remember though that the heart and soul of social media is the ability to connect with people. Doing things like sending out promotional posts and tweets on a daily basis is more like shouting at your followers rather than talking with them.
If you want to boost your profile and build your brand you need to temper your posts with a good mixture of engaging and useful content along with the occasional promotional post. This way you will gain a good reputation and you will be rewarded with loyalty from your followers. Did you know that 71% of social media users who have a positive experience with a business will be happy to share their details with family and friends. The power of personal referrals is what wins you new followers that can end up converting into loyal customers.
Something to think about
During 2015, Facebook was credited for influencing more than half of the purchasing decisions in America alone. Mostly people who were thinking of buying something went online to check out the Facebook page of the company before they made their final decision to buy. Something to think about, yes?