Avoiding social media because you think you don’t have the expertise or the time? Think again. Having a presence on a few select social media platforms doesn’t have to be time-consuming and complicated; there are plenty of tools around that allow you to manage multiple social media streams quickly and efficiently.
Avoiding social media because you think your business doesn’t need it?
Huge mistake. Your customers aren’t avoiding social media, so nor should you! Here are nine reasons why social media will boost your business:
It Announces Your Presence
The more people know that your business exists, the more potential customers you have.
It Drives Traffic To Your Website
If you ensure you post engaging links to your blog posts, news and featured products etc, you are helping to drive traffic to your website. Links to interesting blogs will be shared, attracting more potential customers who arrive on your site to read the post and then (hopefully!) are lured into reading other content or making a purchase.
It Promotes Promotions!
Deals of the day, general discounts, social-media-only discounts, new products, multi-buy deals, packages, new products – shout about them all on social media and watch as people do your promotional work for you, sharing your posts because they think they’re great deals (even if they’re not interested themselves).
If you’re lucky, these deal-sharers may even tag friends whom they think might be particularly interested in your giant chess set, pamper package, free MOT with a 5-year service contract…
It Helps You Rise Up The Ranks
The search rankings, that is. All those shares and links spread your presence on to multiple profiles and sites. Search engines see your name come up again and again, and up your business goes…
It Gathers Feedback and Gives Insight
Want to know what your customers want and what their interests are? Social media can help in two key ways. Firstly, by allowing you to use the more formal route of asking questions or posting surveys. Secondly, by allowing you a glimpse into their lives and reactions.
What other businesses do they follow? Which celebrities do they like? Whose products, quotes, news and blog posts do they link to or share? Which of your hashtags gets the best reaction?
Who are your followers – what are their ages, incomes, gender and occupations?
Who is following your competitors – and why?
It Allows You to Respond and Reward
Social media allows you to respond to your customers quickly and easily, whether it’s dealing with a complaint or query, sharing a joke or graciously accepting praise from a satisfied customer. It also allows you to reward customers for loyalty, competition wins, shares and quick response by giving them special access to deals, discounts and prizes.
It Allows You To Catch the Eye of Unsocial Media!
While showing a human side is great and all your followers are, by default, human, it’s not only Joe Public that has his eye on social media and what’s hot. Social media is increasingly used to tip off the rest of the media about reactions, trends, interests and groundswells of opinion among the public. A social media presence will heighten your chances of being featured in other media such as newspapers, magazines, radio or TV.
It Allows You to Test New Ideas
Got a great idea, but not too sure how it will go down with your customers? Ask them. Float the idea past them and ask for reactions. Whether you’re thinking of setting up a new branch, need suggestions for the name of a new package or what to know how many people would eat your proposed Veggie All-Day Breakfast, ask your followers. People like to feel their opinion is sought – and considered. So make sure you say thank you too!
It allows you to be Social and Show Your Human Side
Social media posts should never be constantly about the hard sell; that’s not what people use social media for. If you post nothing but links to your own blog posts, deals and promotions, you’ll soon find people unfollowing you by the dozen.
So keep the ‘social’ aspect of social media foremost in your mind. Take note of what your customers are interested in and signpost them to similar content you think may be of interest. Sprinkle a little banter and office news in there. Share the odd humorous gif or meme. Show that you are humans working in a business; not a faceless corporation constantly churning out adverts.
Remember, social media is not an advertising platform; it’s about shared awareness. So be generous in your thanks, mentions and support of good causes, because social media is a great way to inspire loyalty (that’s reason number 10. You can have that one for free!).