If you don't know the importance of social media, you're missing out on major business opportunities.
If you're wondering what the social media hype is all about, you might be surprised to learn that social media is more than just a source of entertainment.
It's also a way to grow a list of prospects and customers, and it's free.
Learning to use social media as a communication channel to help your small business meet goals just requires you create a plan and execute the plan.
With a simple, strategic approach, you'll be boosting sales in no time.
With these 6 essential keys to understanding the importance of social media, you'll be able to connect to new customers and find new opportunities for your small business. Read on to find out how.
6 Ways to Understand the Importance of Social Media
- Interact With Your Audience
Social media is no longer just for young people.
More than a billion people are active on Facebook every day.
These people span all age groups, ethnicities, nationalities, and locations.
This means the people who would buy your products or services are on social media too!
Using the sites that your customers are active on means you can connect with them in meaningful ways.
Social media allows you to post content that your target customers will like and want to interact with.
When customers comment on your posts, this gives you a special opportunity to engage with them further.
Get a social media team together whose job is to respond to customer comments and inquiries.
Whether it's thanking customers for a positive review, engaging in a joking back-and-forth, or offering to make up for a bad experience, these interactions go a long way in retaining and attracting customers.
When customers see that you respond to them on social media, they know your brand really cares about them and wants to make them happy.
Instead of thinking of social media posts as static ads for your products, use the interactive powers of these sites to boost your brand's reputation and stay on your customer's minds.
- Build Your Brand
Social media is an excellent branding opportunity for a small business.
As a small business owner, you may feel that branding opportunities are limited.
You can carefully curate the appearance of your store, office, and fleet along with employee dress codes, but beyond that, where can you use branding?
Your digital assets, including your website and social media is the answer.
You have an enormous source of branding opportunities at your fingertips once you bring your business online.
Use imagery and graphics along with branded language to help customers identify with and understand your company.
For example, if you run a health-conscious smoothie store, you might post images of your drinks being enjoyed outside, and share articles about health-related subjects.
You can also boost branding by keeping it the same across social media sites.
Try using a simple, recognizable logo as your profile picture on every site, and consistent cover image designs so that your brand is easy to spot.
Decide on a “voice” for the way your brand comes across online.
Share pictures in a color scheme that works with your company image.
- Provide Value to Customers
It's important that your customers learn to see your brand as more than just a product to buy.
Social media can help your product or service become a useful, everyday part of customers' lives.
The way to do that is by adding value.
Naturally, your service or product will bring some value to their lives. However, social media can provide even more.
Instead of always sharing information about your products and services, try also sharing helpful articles related to your industry online.
For example, if you have a residential roofing company, you could share posts about maintaining a roof with solar or tips about weatherproofing your home.
Then, you might post about an item or service you sell that fits with that trend.
This way, customers are getting value from your social media sites – they are learning about new trends and where to find them.
Remember, it's okay to post from other sources, as long as those posts are adding value to your customers (and are credited to their original sources).
If you're able to blog about topics on your company webiste, that's even better; you further solidify your position as an expert in your industry and are driving traffic back to your company website when someone clicks on your post.
- Know Your Audience Better
Social media allows you to get a better idea of who your customers are, and who else you should reach out to.
With sites like Facebook, you can easily get information on who your customers are.
If you expected a college-age demographic, but find that your posts are actually popular among the Baby Boomer crowd, you can use that information for advertising purposes, for example.
- Save Money
If you don't get your business online, you're missing out on an amazing opportunity to make more money without spending more.
One of the best things about social media is that it's free.
Running a small business often means keeping a tight budget.
Having a plan to use social media to boost your business without breaking the bank is a smart play for any business!
The most popular sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, are completely free to use (they all offer paid services as well, but it's not required).
And the benefits of posting on social media can translate into lots more revenue.
- Control Your Story
Word-of-mouth is an important way for small businesses to gain customers.
With traditional word-of-mouth marketing, you don't have much control over the narrative.
You have to trust that happy customers will say the right things about your business.
However, social media lets you have more control over the narrative, while still having the same benefits of word-of-mouth marketing.
You'll be able to see when a customer shares one of your posts, for example.
If they said something negative, you can reach out to them by commenting on the post about what you will do to fix the situation.
This lets their network see that you are trustworthy and empathetic, even though the original post was negative.
And, if they say something positive, you can publicly thank them for the support, or even mention helpful information like an upcoming sale.
The importance of social media marketing for a small business can't be understated.
Compete with larger brands and expand your reach by getting your company plugged into this very popular and highly trafficked online channel.
This is one of the most effective, grass-roots ways to grow your business.
Now that you understand the importance of social media, are you ready to get started?
Book an Internet Marketing Strategy Call with us today – we can help you through every step.
Read more articles about the effectiveness of social media: