There are over 1 billion unique monthly visitors on YouTube, over 300 million active users on Google+ stream, 231 million+ monthly active users on Twitter and 874 million users accessing Facebook from mobile using 7000 different devices. These statistics alone should be enough for any business to know that social media should be part of their digital marketing strategy. But you’d be surprised at just how many businesses still don’t use social media to leverage their business. And if you’re one of them, then here’s a few more reasons why your business should be using social media, that might convince just convince you…
Allows you to directly target customers and their interestsSocial media allows you to target your consumers directly by engaging them with things that you know they are interested in. For example, it is a great opportunity to start discussions about topics that your target market will be passionate about. So, make sure your business’ social media pages don’t just concentrate on self-promotion and the ‘next best deal’, as this doesn’t give your brand a personality that will appeal to your audeince. It’s all about building a relationship with your customers, so that your customers love your brand and want to use your products/services.
A great way to leverage your businesses assets and self-promote/advertiseSocial media is a fantastic opportunity to leverage your businesses products and services, without the risk of failure from extortionate marketing strategies that cost a fortune. Did you know that social media generates almost double the marketing leads of trade show, telemarketing, daily mail or PPC? Anything that your business might be doing can be advertised and promoted immediately on social media allowing your current fans/followers to keep up to date with what your business is getting up to. The ‘share’ feature on various social media platforms is also a great opportunity for you to attract the interest of potentially new customers.
Furthermore, social media is especially good for those businesses with products or services that sell with pictures. As people browse social media sites, pictures can particularly grab the user’s attention and immediately encourage them to explore further and find out more. This has proved successful for both large and small firms that offer holidays and holiday rentals. For example, Best of Suffolk, a company that offers Suffolk cottages, know that pictures sell so they pack their social updates full of their beautiful luxury cottages. Research shows that image posts get up to 39% more engagement than links videos or text based updates.
It’s not just the younger generation that uses social mediaIf your businesses products and or services are targeted at an older age demographic, then don’t think that social media isn’t necessary. Believe it or not, social media is becoming more and more popular with the older generation. For instance, Twitter’s fastest age demographic is 55 to 64 year olds, with an increase in active users of 79 percent in 2013. Therefore, whatever the target market may be, every business should consider how social media can be implemented into their marketing strategy in a way that will successfully communicate with the target audience.
People are becoming phone-phobicAlthough the use and ownership of smart phones has rocketed over the past through years, according to Ofcom, people no longer like phoning and instead prefer texting an instant messaging –particularly among the younger generation. So if the only way that your customers can get in touch with you is by providing them with a telephone number on your website, you are potentially missing out on a lot of new customers. Having your business on various social media platforms will allow your customers to communicate with you a way that is preferable to them. For example, if a customer asks a question via twitter, you can instantly respond to the tweet creating instant customer satisfaction.
Builds brand awareness and improves brand identityIt’s simple, the more platforms that your business is on, the more well-known your business will become. Multi-channelling has become the blueprint to success with social media being a big contributing factor. If your brand becomes better recognised because it has been leveraged on so many different platforms, your business’ brand identity will be much stronger. Ultimately, this will improve consumer trust and encourage new customers to choose your products/services over competitors.
Builds a relationship with customers and helps Improve customer servicesThe online environment lacks person-to-person contact and the expertise of a salesperson, therefore it is essential for online businesses to create effective customer service in other ways. Social media allows the user to get the feel of a human presence, helping to build a brand personality for your business and therefore form an online relationship between the customers and your brand. Giving your brand a personality that appeals and relates to your products/services will help to improve customer service and customer satisfaction. In turn, this will not only encourage consumers to purchase or enquire about your products or services but also encourage repeat purchases/interest.
Time povertyTime poverty can be an issue for many consumers and social media is something that they can use whilst they are on the go. For instance, 4.2 billion people use mobile devices to access social media sites, therefore, your social media fans can be continually influenced by your products/services wherever they may be.
How to get past your social media anxietyTake a look at this infographic created by The Huffington Post, which illustrates an easy-to-follow guide with some eye-opening facts – that should help business owners conquer their social media anxiety.
image credit shutterstock | Article submitted by Laura Harrison.