10 Reasons to Include Social Media Marketing in Your Business’s New Years Resolution
When you’re starting a small business, chances are that you don’t have much in terms of an operating budget, let alone the time to dedicate yourself to all aspects of running it. Social media can seem like something of an unmanageable beast when you want to get up and running quickly, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Luckily, all you need are a few great resources and the willingness to dedicate an hour or so each day to your social media marketing plan. But why would you even care about social media in the first place? Here are 10 reasons why an online presence is an absolute necessity for your brand or business:
Increase brand awareness
The number one goal of any social media marketing plan should be to increase brand awareness. People need to know that your business is out there, and social media can help you accomplish that. Don’t be shy about promoting yourself – it’s a great idea to create profiles on as many networks as you can handle, but don’t overdo it. It can be hard to keep up with multiple networks, so choose your main ones and focus on them.
Drive more traffic to your website and business
Social media marketing isn’t only about the number of followers you have. A major part of it is directing traffic to your website and business, even if those first visitors aren’t quite ready to make a purchase. Try linking your social media accounts on your business cards or receipts, for example – that way, new visitors will be able to easily follow you. You can also try advertising on social media, especially if you’ve already got a good number of followers and friends.
Generate leads and sales
If you’re active and present on social media, it’s not hard to generate sales – especially if you’ve got a good sense of the demographics that frequent each network. Try offering incentives like free shipping or discounts for following you on Twitter or ‘liking’ your Facebook page. If all else fails, try running contests with prizes; these can be tricky to manage, so if you don’t have much time or resources available, go with a simple ‘share and win’ model.
Provide customer service & support
While it’s important to increase awareness of your business, you shouldn’t forget about meeting the needs of existing customers. Social media is a great way to offer customer service and support – people who have problems with a product or service can take their complaints or questions straight to you instead of going through the hassle of approaching a company representative over email or telephone. Don’t forget that social media is about providing good customer service as much as anything else.
Deliver valuable information to your audience
Once you’ve got your accounts set up, it can be pretty tempting to spam your followers with links to products. Don’t do that – not only is it annoying, but chances are that people will quickly unfollow or dislike you. Instead of pushing sales into their faces, focus on providing valuable information about things that your audience might be interested in. As an example, if you sell gourmet cupcakes, post recipes and articles about the history of cupcake culture.
Gain insight into your competition
It can be easy to close your eyes, stick your head in the sand and pretend that there isn’t any competition out there. That’s not a good idea when it comes to social media marketing – you need to embrace the fact that other businesses are there with you but view them as opportunities instead of obstacles. Find out what is important to your competition by checking out their profiles on your social networks. You can even follow them from time to time, just as a way of showing that you’re not intimidated by the idea of having competition in the first place.
Enhance customer loyalty
Remember when we talked about generating sales and leads? Part of that is about increasing the number of repeat clients that you have, and social media marketing can help with that. Try creating incentives for people to follow you on Facebook or ‘follow’ you on Twitter – these might be discounts, exclusive deals, or any number of other things – anything that will make people want to stay in touch with your business.
Learn about your clientele
People are complex. Their behavior is complex, and so too are the reasons behind it. Trying to get a grip on what makes them tick can be difficult, but there’s always a way. Social media marketing isn’t only about the number of followers you have – try taking some time out once in a while to get a feel for the types of people that follow you on social networks. Ask questions, find out what they like and don’t like about your products or services, and try to respond as best as you can.
Business owners might think that they’ve got all their bases covered when it comes to what customers want. We all know that’s not always the case, though. If you’re interested in finding out more about why some of your products or services are successful and how you can improve them, social media might be a good place to start. Get involved on various networks by asking questions related to your business, speaking with others who have a similar business, and learning from the feedback that you get. It’s a great way to find out what people want.
Show your personality
People don’t just want products – they want brands that have personality as well. If you think it’s enough to be a faceless corporation on social media, you’re going to lose customers. Show your human side and use social media to reveal something about the people that work in your business, whether it’s a photo of an employee or a video showing how your products are made. It’ll make you memorable and give customers a reason to be interested.
As we wrap up, let’s take a look at some statistics surrounding social media:
As of Q1 2020, 420 billion people are active on social media. (Statista)
54% of social browsers use social media to research products. (GlobalWebIndex)
79% of people say that user-generated content on social media significantly impacts their purchasing decisions. (Stackla)
1.3 million new users joined social media every day in 2020. (Hootsuite)
You can see, there are plenty of excellent reasons to get involved with social media marketing. If you’re not already taking advantage of it, there’s no time like the present to do something about that. It might take a little while for your efforts to pay off, but with patience and perseverance, you’ll be on your way to social media marketing success in no time at all.
It doesn’t matter what your business does, the potential for social media marketing to succeed is there. If you’re not using this powerful marketing tool, it’s time to get started!
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