Why is it so important for your business to use and invest in social media? There’s no doubt people are using social media to engage with brands more than ever. Sherpa Marketing found that more people follow brands on social media than follow celebrities. It’s estimated that 54% of social browsers use social media to research products – more buyers are joining social media networks and looking for reviews and recommendations. With over three billion people using social media around the world, if you’re not taking advantage of it, you’re missing out on a fast, inexpensive, and effective way to reach almost half the world’s population.
In this article, we’ll look at the many ways in which social media can help you connect, engage, and grow your business:
1 – Increase Brand Awareness
With nearly half of the world’s population using social media, it’s an effective place to reach new and highly targeted potential customers. When you are present on social media, you make it easier for your customers to find and connect with you and your small business which is likely to increase customer retention and brand loyalty. When you are active on social media, it allows you to connect with fans and followers every time they log in. This can help keep your business top of mind so you’re their first stop when somebody requires a service or is ready to make a purchase.
A great example is Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Australia. They ran an Instagram campaign to promote the new release of four retro doughnuts inspired by childhood classic flavours – Fairy Bread, Choc Brownie Batter, Cookie Dough and Finger Bun. They launched a suite of retro mobile arcade games, turning their Instagram profile into a virtual arcade. To drive awareness, Krispy Kreme promoted the games via photo and video ads in Instagram feed and Stories. A leader board tracked the high scores of players, with the top players on the leader board winning either a three-month, six-month or one-year supply of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. This campaign alone helped them to increase the number of mobile users to their website by 51%, and increase eCommerce sales by 30%.
2 – Humans Connect to, Relate to, and Trust Other Humans
A UK study from Trinity Mirror Solutions found that more than half of adults do not trust a brand until they see “real-world proof” that the brand is keeping its promises. To get ahead in today’s market, companies need to fight a tidal wave of mistrust and public scrutiny. The more you can create a 1:1 relationship with people, the more likely those people will buy from you or use your services. The ability to create real human connections is one of the key benefits of social media for business.
3 – Reputation Management
Even if you’re not on social media, that doesn’t stop people talking about your business. Customers share their feedback, good and bad, and you need to be aware of it. If the feedback is positive, social media will allow you capitalise on that satisfied customer which could result in more people buying from you or using your services. If the feedback is negative (as mistakes are inevitable in any business), you have the opportunity to try and smooth things out by listening and fixing the issue.
Top tip: Are you finding that people are saying something that isn’t true about your business? Be sure to share your side politely and professionally. We recommend that you respond straight away. The worst thing is to ignore the message completely. It won’t go away, and it may affect a potential customer/client’s decision whether to go with you or not.
4 – Faster, Easier Communication
People expect businesses to be available on social media and seek out their social accounts for customer service. Research published in the Harvard Business Review shows that businesses who aren’t meeting those expectations damage their bottom line. The faster you can respond, and the better you are able to help, the more likely it is that those people will become customers, and recommend your business to others.
5 – Make Your Brand an Industry Leader
As previously mentioned, people buy from people who they connect to, relate to and trust. Social media offers you the chance to become the go-to when people want to know more information about your specific industry. If you focus on being helpful as a priority, people will learn to trust what you have to say, and eventually, go to you first to learn more.
Top tip: Ensure that you’re publishing content for your audience – and not just your latest sales or offers. Social is about being ‘social’, which includes being helpful and engaging.
6 – Increase Website Traffic
Social media is a great way to drive more people to your website and reach new audiences that you wouldn’t otherwise had the opportunity to engage with. There’s only so much people can learn from social media posts and ads – your website is where you typically display more detailed information on the products you sell or services you offer.
7 – Generate Leads
Social media offers an easy and low-commitment way for potential customers to express interest in your business and your products.
7a – Facebook Advertising Case Study
Using Facebook advertising, we recently helped one of our clients advertise a ‘Local Lockdown Getaway’ which promoted their restaurant and hotel to the local area. A small promotion in terms of budget due to further lockdown restrictions that came in place, the client received 39 direct messages, 33 post messages, 746 post engagements and 94 link clicks (to their website) for just £26.54. The deal that we promoted was enticing which meant many of the direct messages (and some of the post messages) turned into paying customers at an average profit of £30 per message.
8 – Social Sells
Social selling gives you the opportunity to establish relationships, and build rapport with existing connections and networks. Also, an active and engaging social presence can help keep your brand top of mind, so when a person is ready to purchase there is a high chance they’ll come to you first.
9 – Learn More About Your Customers
Take advantage of the analytics that every social network offers. Using the insights available, you can tailor your strategies to best speak to your target market/s. You’ll be able to see demographic information, geography, language and online behaviours to better focus on the people that are more likely to buy from you.
As you can see, there’s a range of potential benefits to social, and while it does take some work, the rewards can be great. Social media marketing can be an effective, fairly low-cost way to create greater visibility for your local business. For more information on our social media management service and social media advertising service, please contact us today.