Why you should start using social media for business
(3 minute read)
According to social media trainer and speaker Laurel Papworth these are the six most common reasons businesses give for not needing social media:
1. We already know our customers
2. We prefer to talk to our customers in person
3. We don’t need new customers
4. Customers only complain online
5. Our customers aren’t online
6. We prefer to advertise in magazines or on TV
For a very few select businesses, some of these may ring true, but for the majority, especially fast-growing businesses, social media should now play an important role in your marketing strategy.
If you believe any of these 6 statements apply to your business continue reading to find out why they are not reasons to be avoiding social media.
We already know our customers
You may know your customers, but how well do you really know them and do you know when their opinions change? Did you know that a large group of them now do ALL their shopping online? Did you know there's a company offering a similar product to you down the road who advertises through Facebook and your customers are starting to move on? If you don't keep up with these changes your customers, although you know may know them well now, may not be your customers for much longer. Social media is a great way to find out what your customers do when they're not buying from you. And, it lets you remind them that you'll be there when they need you.
We prefer to talk to our customers in person
Talking face-to-face is, and probably always will be, the most effective way of communicating. However, if your customers just have a quick question would it not be easier if they could hop on to Twitter and get a quick response? Would this not save you, and them, valuable time and money?
We don’t need new customers
Right now, perhaps you don't need new customers - a great position to be in - but what happens when your current customers decide to try out a new business similar to yours? Don't leave it until it's too late. Keep your audience engaged through social media, gain their trust and loyalty, and remind them that their life without your product/service would not be the same.
Customers only complain online
There are a lot of customers who love to complain online, it's true and unfortunately a fact of life. But, as a business you can use this to your advantage. If something goes wrong and a customer complains use this opportunity to show you care and that you are willing to put things right. You can offer them a complimentary product/service and publicly apologise for the mistake. We are all human after all and generally people just want to see that you are too. (If your business gets a lot of complaints then we strongly advise avoiding social media as you have other problems to deal with first.)
Our customers aren’t online
Are you sure? As we mentioned before, there may be a few select businesses where this is the case but for the majority of businesses your customers are online in one way or another. In the UK alone over 80% of the population in all regions have used the Internet in the past 3 months. Social media allows businesses to reach these people in new ways with minimal costs compared to offline advertising.
We prefer to advertise in magazines or on TV
Advertising on TV or in magazines may of course be your preference, but is it the best way to reach your customers? If your customers are a young audience (16-25) you will find they are spending a lot less time watching TV/reading magazines and a lot more time on their mobile phones. We’re not saying avoid TV and magazines completely, but make sure that's where your audience are before spending your entire marketing budget on an ad they won't see. Social media allows small businesses to market to a highly targeted audience, whilst keeping costs to a minimum compared with TV and print/outdoor advertising.
For any business, social media really is a must. It is only at the beginning of its world takeover and is most definitely here to stay in one form or another. Don't miss out on great opportunity by waiting too long to get started.
If you're keen to get your business on social media but have no idea where to start, perhaps we can help: get started on social media.