Obviously, you don’t have to use Social Media if you choose not to, but for most companies I would definitely recommend it.
There are a number of proven benefits for the use of Social Media, and your social media audience is huge. Some benefits include:
- Create Social Sales Leads – Why not use Social Media as a direct sales tool? Some Social Media platforms offer some of the most effective ways of targeting your specific audience and demographic.
- Improve Your Organic Search Results – Your websites organic search results are hugely driven by original, useful and engaging content, but this content doesn’t always have to be on your website. Content that you publish on connected social media platforms can also help your websites results, as well as the interactions with your content from other social media users. A ‘like’ or comment on Facebook, can have a positive effect on your website.
- People like the ‘human touch’ – As a consumer, interaction with businesses can often feel impersonal and cold. As humans, we interact with other humans, and social media is a great way to present that human interaction to consumers, to have a real life person and personality communicating with potential customers, rather than generic business guided advertisements and promotions.
- You can offer better customer service – This ties in heavily with the previous point. Social Media is a great way to manage customer complaints, concerns and questions. Managing these via a public profile also allows you to demonstrate your responsiveness and instill confidence in other potential customers.
- Cost effective marketing – Social Media is a cheap and effective way to market your business, products and services. Your biggest expense when managing your Social Media is time, although as you become accustomed to it, it’s surprisingly quick to manage your updates and comments as part of your daily routine. The biggest advantage of marketing via Social Media is that your followers, customers and other users will do it for you. Receiving a comment, share or like on a Social Media platform becomes available to see by a huge amount of followers, with no additional expense to you. Update and manage your content, and allow your audience to do the rest.
- Increase customer trust levels – People interacting via Social Media and following your updates, blogs and tweets etc have higher levels of trust. They feel like they already know you, have a comfortable relationship with you and will purchase from you with less convincing, less hand-holding and less need to actually talk to you.
Now you have seen just a few of the benefits, hopefully you are inclined to create a social media presence online.
If you are going to do this, I have to recommend that you think about your approach first, and create a strategy to help you build the right presence, and ensure that it is maintained moving forwards – you need to keep your social media profiles up to date. An inactive social media profile can be a real turn off for potential customers.
There are very few times I wouldn’t suggest or recommend a business using Social Media. It does need your time and attention to keep updates regular and effective, but the rewards come varied and hugely valuable.
Addition 2016-06-11: One key thing that I didn’t mention when writing this article, is not to spread yourself too thinly across all social media platforms. You don’t need to be on every social media site, just pick the one(s) that are most suited to your audience.
As well as that, don’t create accounts that you don’t use. Worse than not having a social media presence, is to have one that isn’t managed and monitored. Many people will use social media as a first point of contact with a company – if you’re not responding, it gives an extremely negative impression.