Small businesses hear it all the time. "You need to be on social media."
But even though this message seems to appear on just about every marketing blog out there, many small business owners refuse to believe that it is more than just an "extra." While they may understand that Twitter or Facebook can bring in a few new customers, they fail to see how a strong social media strategy can truly revolutionize their business.
As digital marketing continues to grow, traditional marketing avenues are becoming outdated and expensive. Social media continues to rise in importance because it is fast, direct, cheap and effective. Today, there is a good chance that a potential customer's first experience with your brand will be through a social media avenue.
So, if you're not active on social media, you will probably struggle to get your name out there.
Why is Social Media so Important for Small Businesses?
The days of looking up a company in the yellow pages and ringing them up immediately are gone and passed. Today, our customers care more about trust than convenience, so they're going to research your company thoroughly before ever considering making a purchase from you.
Before a potential customer reaches out to you, they'll check your online presence, read reviews, and explore what authority you may have established online. If you're not active through social media and other online avenues, they're not going to have much to explore.
There are many ways that a strong social media presence can help to boost your small business. Let's look at a few.
Social Media Helps Your Business Get Noticed
If you know anything about online marketing, you know sitting back and waiting for customers and clients to come to you is an ineffective strategy. While you may think your website is great, your content is awesome, and you can deliver a better service than any of your competitors, that's not going to matter if people can't find your site.
SEO is one of the best ways to boost your online presence, but SEO isn't the easiest task. It takes planning, implementing, and most of all, waiting. It takes time to see results - time that you and your business can't just sit around waiting for a new line of customers to come running through your door.
But while you're waiting for your SEO strategy to really sink in and start bringing you results, social media can be a great way to establish a new client base. Through using the right hashtags, connecting with the right groups, and getting your opinion in on relevant topics, social media can get your brand noticed.
Followers Don't View Social Media Advertising the Same
Content marketing - including your social media strategy - is all about building trust. Unlike traditional marketing avenues, content marketing focuses on establishing a relationship and solving problems for the potential customer or client. Because you are trying to help that potential customer or client instead of directly sell to them, they will be more receptive of your information.
Your social media strategy should focus on engaging and connecting, then delivering useful information to your fans and followers without pushing a purchase directly in their face. While social media can be a great place to share new promotions, products, or deals, your posts shouldn't read the same way a traditional marketing advertisement would.
Your social media strategy should act as the mouth of your sales funnel. Through your social media posts, you want to draw in the attention of your customers and get them to move to your website, where they can follow the other funnel paths. As an indirect way to sell potential customers, your posts should push individuals to read blog posts, sign up for newsletters, or just explore your available products and services.
Social Media Gives Your Brand Personality
If you've ever explored a company's social media profile, you're probably seeing one of two things. First, you may find that they simply post link after link attempting to get followers off their social media pages and onto their website. On the other hand, you may view brands that are engaging, interacting, and chatting on their social pages.
Which one do you think sees the most success?
People don't follow companies on social media for the easy links - they follow them to get a direct view at their brand personality. While you will want to include ways for your followers to get to your website from your social pages, no one will click those links until they have a reason to believe the content on the other side is worth reading.
If you want to see success from your social media pages, you need to show your personality.
Your social media is one of the best tools you can use to connect, engage, and build trust. Because our customers and clients have more options than ever, we need to work even harder to attract their attention and pull in their business. One of the best ways to do so is through having active and powerful social media platforms.
Are you a small business feeling overwhelmed by the social media process? Send me an email to discuss how I can help.