Why businesses should be using social media

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(4 minute read)




Social media has changed dramatically since its humble beginnings – there are now hundreds of social media channels available to us – but there are still a few key channels that your customers will almost definitely be using in one way or another.

The average person will spend 2 hours on social media every day, and that number is a lot higher amongst a younger audience. However, these platforms are no longer just places where we can connect with our friends and share inspiration. The biggest social media channels have become powerful marketing tools for business. Not using social media for your business in this day and age could be opportunity missed.  

Consumer buying behaviour is rapidly changing, to stay afloat businesses must adjust the ways in which they reach and interact with their customers.

But we know it’s not always as easy as it sounds…  


The problem

Using social media for business means understanding how to make the most of new and potentially complicated technology. Due to the fact that this uses resources–it can be time consuming, expensive and can involve making new hires–many businesses either stick to what they know or take on new techniques half-heartedly, neither of which will work. 

So not only does social media need to be done, it needs to be done right.  

There are a number of marketing techniques that are just no longer good enough for the majority of businesses out there today…

Telemarketing.

The fact that we all get so many of these calls means telemarketing just doesn’t work anymore. No one wants to be read a script and be sold something by someone they know nothing about.


Cold calling

It’s getting harder and harder to reach the person you need to speak to unless you already have a connection. The ‘gate keepers’ are out in their numbers and getting through to the person who makes the decisions will be near enough impossible. Plus, automated phone systems and live chat bots can make it impossible to even speak with a human at all.


Mass Email Marketing

Whilst we agree that it works and adds value for some businesses as a way of sending out valuable information to a select group of clients/customers for the majority it is becoming significantly less effective. We all get so many emails these days our inboxes are permanently over flowing and ‘sales’ emails from random businesses we don’t remember signing up to are going to be the first to go!


The solution

Start utilising growing marketing mediums such as social media to reach and connect with your target audience in a way that won’t frustrate them.

But before you get started there’s a decision to make, do you do it yourself or do you pay someone to do it for you?

If you decide to go it alone or you decide to work with an agency, it’s still good to understand the process and how it works. 
 

Before you begin…

There’s no point in being all over social media if you’re business name doesn’t make any sense or your logo looks dated so take a step back before you begin. You will need a strong, recognisable brand that will set your business apart from your competitors who may already have a strong online presence. Your business branding is a worthy investment and is perhaps even more important now than it ever has been. 

Once you are happy with your business branding you can put a social media marketing plan into place.
 

The process:

1.     Awareness

2.     Acquisition

3.     Engagement

4.     Conversion

5.     Retention


How do you go about working through these as a business?

Each and every business has its own way of driving sales and not all forms of marketing work for all businesses. Social media is growing in importance and is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business. But, that’s not to say that traditional marketing is completely worn out. A combination of techniques is often the best option and will help new businesses work out what their target audience want from them.  



Awareness:  Social media branding + content marketing

Regularly posting content to your social media channels will help to grow awareness of your brand.

A report from Deloitte found that 47% of millennials are influenced in their purchases by social media, as well as 19% for all other age groups. You need to be where your customers are and to be seen as a trusted expert in your field who can provide a solution to their problems. Your channels need to look professional and to provide the easy-to-digest information that your followers are looking for. Quality and consistency are key.

Before you start posting content, think about who you’re talking to and what they’re looking for then produce content that’s relevant and useful to them.
 

Acquisition: Website traffic

As well as building brand awareness, your social media channels can play a big part in driving traffic to your website. 

Whilst organic social media content helps to build your brand and drive some web traffic, you can also use paid advertising across your social channels to target specific audiences and increase sales.




Engagement: Communicating with your customers

Over half of all social users will engage with brands several times a month. Engaging with your audience is an important part of social media marketing, it allows you to have a personal connection with your audience without pushing sales messages at them.
 

Conversion: Make it easy for your customers to get what they need  

There is nothing worse than coming across a great company on social media, enjoying their content and then finding that there’s no link to their website or that the link is broken and you can’t find what you wanted to. Attention spans are short and competition levels are high so don’t let a broken link or complicated buying process on your website cost you sales. Go back to the basics and make sure the process is as smooth as possible.
 

Retention: Customer service via social media

70% of those helped via social customer service return as a customer in the future. Using your social media channels as a customer service platform means you are transparent with your customers and therefore instantly seen as more trustworthy. By helping your customers with their problems and dealing with complaints in a good manner you are likely to retain those customers for the future. Plus, 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.

There is a minefield of information out there when it comes to social media marketing and it’s not easy to filter out the useful from the useless. But, there is one thing that is for certain, if you’re starting a new business, already running a small business or are the marketing director for a multinational company, social media is where your customers are so you need to be there too.  

If you would like to get started with social media marketing but have no idea where to begin then we’d be happy to help you.  Find out more about our social media services.