Many business owners are reluctant to use social media. Some think it doesn’t apply to them, simply because they are not familiar with using a computer. Others are so focused only on immediate gratification exercises that they believe a long term strategy such as social, brings little benefit.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, social media could revolutionise the amount of business you bring in.
Already, I can hear the eyeballs rolling in their sockets. I know, I know, ‘revolutionise’, might be a bit of a strong term, but the fact of the matter is that you have to think big.
It doesn’t matter if your business is only small. It doesn’t matter whether you only sell your products, or tout your skills in one town, what matters is that you make the effort to create brand awareness. When you get started on Social, you give people a chance to find you easily.
1 – Social Media is Free Access to the Masses
By putting your brand out on the Web using social media, you have a completely free, yes free, let me capitalise it, FREE way of reaching out to the following groups.
- Potential Customers.
- Existing Customers.
- Similar Businesses.
- Local Trade Organisations.
- National Trade Organisations.
- International Trade Organisations.
FREE, it’s Free, are you hearing me?
2 – Social Media Identifies your Audience
First of all, let’s look at who buys your goods and services. Stop, think, write a list.
Who do you want to reach? If you keep records of customers and what they buy, all the better, because you have clues about our audience, their demographics such as age, gender and interests.
All this stuff is useful information that might help you to create social media offerings that appeal to your core audience.
Imagine that you are small independent record store. If you DONT use Social media, how are you reaching your audience? Through your Website only?
3 – Social Drives Traffic To Your Website?
- Does your website have decent traffic
- Does it have enough traffic to ensure that you have leads each day?
If the answer is No to either of the above questions, you should be using social media. You could reach potential fans with a quick Tweet telling them about the new Stock you have in.
— Norman Records (@normanrecords) July 4, 2014
Or you could create a Mood board on Pinterest of “Retro Sounds” that you stock.
All these things take effort, and of course there is no immediate success, nor guarantee that you will directly make sales. You will however, be doing the next 3 things.
4 – Social Grows Brand Awareness
You can Grow your brand by being an active and engaging presence on Social Media. Just be sure to select the right social media platform to showcase what you do. If you make electrical circuit boards, Facebook might not be the best Platform, but LinkedIn might well be.
5 – Creating Niche Specific Content
By Creating good quality content related to your business or field of interest you literally drown out the competition. It’s not about shouting loudest though, more about being involved in many conversations. You can use old school SEO techniques here because by creating stimulating social media offerings you can help drive traffic to a blog post, about a topic that you specialise in. Work through your topic, cover every angle.
6 – Social let’s you Demonstrate Authority On Your Topic
Business owners often say to me, that they can’t see how to get their message across on Social media, because the message is so short. This is something that you learn as you go along, try not to be too buttoned up about it, go with the flow. By sharing some of your knowledge on social media you have the ability to ALERT people to what you are doing, and bring them to your website or more detailed blog articles. If you can, demonstrate your skills by making a short video. Personal trainers get lots of attention and re-shares by doing this.
I’m pretty certain that most people who read this will have found it via social media. Try to informative and provide value. People like to feel they have learned something, or at least taken something away with them. I only write these blogs because I’ve actually done this, I’ve been through the doubt and uncertainty. I now run several twitter accounts some of which have several thousand active followers.
7 – Social Lets You Easily Gather Endorsements
Gathering Endorsement on social media is easy. All you have to do is strike a chord with your audience. They will Like and SHARE your content if it’s good enough. Over time though you will gather followers, regulars who reply to your posts and regularly share your content. Better Still they will start to mention you in posts, or seek your approval and advice.
So @askphilseo do you have any knowledge of schools leveraging BYOD schemes with staff?
— alistair fitchett (@unpopular) February 26, 2014
This can be tough sometimes because what YOU think is awesome is not always what the audience thinks is awesome. Try to make your offering more about them. After all, your business is to cater to their needs.
Finally, there are ‘The Influencers’, Occasionally something you say on social will get a response from someone big in your field. This can help with exposure as well as, giving you a feel-good boost.
@askphilseo Thanks so much 🙂 I’m hopeful this new role will be one I enjoy more.
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) January 17, 2014
8 – Social Extends Your Customer Service
Some businesses are reluctant to set up social media accounts, saying that it leaves them open to malicious criticism. Well, there is that, but you are still fair game for critics if you don’t use social media, but what’s worse, is you can’t easily respond.
If a customer criticises your business, Social media gives you an easy and cost-effective way to respond to that criticism and to reply in a public arena. Demonstrate your Customer Service skills, be polite and courteous and be seen to be helpful. Brands who engage on social media often get public thanks for responding quickly.
@KateStrangewayHi, is there anything we can help you with? Can you provide further information Thanks Dawn — TalkTalk (@TalkTalkCare) April 3, 2014
9 – Social Saves You Money
Did you realise that you can save money on your advertising bill by using Social Media? Of course you can, and it gets cheaper as you go along. The more followers you have the larger your audience and the bigger your reach. Far better than spending £100 on a tiny ad in a newspaper that ‘YOUR Target Audience’ might or might not see.
10 – Keeps Your Business Current
By having a Social Media presence, you are more likely to engage with Social Media on a daily basis. Social can become your first point of contact, you can not only teach via Social, but you can learn via Social. So you’ need never be behind the curve when it comes to that pertinent industry update. Being up on Social allows you to get ahead of your competitors who don’t use it. The links you find in 5 minutes on Twitter can help you write that killer blog article that grows your brand and wins you business. Plus, if nothing else, if your business is to survive, you need to be “down with the kids”, they are tomorrow’s customers.
I know that this list could go on, and on, (as if I didn’t already ). Perhaps you can think of some more good reasons businesses should engage in Social Media. Tell me what I missed.
Previously he worked in Education as an ICT Trainer delivering I.C.T / Audio/Visual solutions for Education and Business. Connect with Phil on Social
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