Social Media is probably the widest used platform on the internet. There are so many different platforms to choose from, and they all have millions of people using them every single day. For many of us, social media is the first thing we log into when we get up in the morning, and the last thing we check before we go to bed at night.
Social media sites can be accessed by any device that has an internet connection, including PCs, mobile phones, tablets etc. Some of the most popular sites are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat. It’s a huge advantage to any business, big or small, to be on some of these sites in order to grow business, and social media marketing is a bit part of that.
So, what are the benefits of social media marketing?
The Time Factor
It can take as little as an hour a day to increase traffic to your sites, make sales and get your brand out there. Social media gives a massive amount of exposure to your business and social media sites are an important part of any marketing plan.
Create social media profiles for your business on your chosen sites and start engaging with potential clients. Invite your friends, family, employees, business partners – in fact anyone you know, to like and share your page. Just having people interact with your page and your content will increase your brand awareness and start to build your brand reputation.
Social media marketing – posting and engaging with your followers – will help you reach many more people than if you ignore social media. Every single time you post, you are giving your business another opportunity to get a new customer. Join more than one social media site, as different platforms serve different people and different ages. Different people search differently and also like different types of posts, so mix it up with your posts – don’t stick to just selling. You also need to engage, entertain, educate and inspire your followers. The 80/20 rule is useful – 80% engaging, entertaining, educating and inspiring and 20% selling.
Social Media also gives you access to followers from all over the world, and engagement at all times of the day and night.
Search Engine ranking
You will get seen more on social media, but of course, there is more to it than just posting every day. Search Engine Optimization is also important to get your page ranked higher with search engines, such as Google.
To give your business the best chance to be seen and found, create good quality content, use keywords and phrases, and use good quality images.
If you write a blog, share it to your social media page, do video, infographics, include the odd case study and give business information. Don’t forget the fun stuff too – show where you work, your hobbies, employee photos, stuff you do at weekends or for charity. This all helps to not only improve your ranking, but goes a long way to show that you are human and real to your customers.
Once your business is more visible, you’ll have more opportunities for your posts to convert into customers. People like to know who they’re buying from, and social media allows them to see your personality, to engage with you on things other than business and have a little insight into the person you are outside of work. People prefer to deal with real people, so social media serves this purpose. The more of an impression you make on a new follower, the more likely they’re going to think of you when they need what you offer.
As the name suggests, social media is about being sociable. It’s not just a business networking platform, it’s also a communication and social network too. When customers comment on your posts, make sure you reply and try to strike up a conversation. Showing that you reply to each comment personally proves to your customers that you care and value their opinions. This gives them a good customer experience and so they’ll be more satisfied.
Sometimes you will get a complaint or get asked difficult questions. It’s even more important to answer these comments – don’t ignore them. The fact that you take the time to respond publicly to a complaint or question will make the customer see you in a much better light, especially if you can turn it around and make the complaint into a compliment!
We all want to have shed loads of loyal customers who love what we do , how we do it, and who want to come back and buy from us time and time again. Social media can help with that. Customers love social media and love to interact with the company they’re buying from – they often see social media as the place they can communicate directly with you and your business. And research has shown that customers are more loyal to brands that directly engage with them on social media.
When customers see you engaging with your followers, they’ll start to see you as an expert – and regularly posting different kinds of posts makes you also appear credible. Interacting with customers shows you value them, and care about them. This will result in them recommending you to family and friends, they’ll mention your business on social media and, if they see someone asking for what you supply, they’ll put your business forward.
It doesn’t cost much
Social media marketing is probably the most cost effective form of marketing. You can join all platforms with a business page for free. You can post, engage, get new customers, and interact with them…all for free. It’s only when you decide to advertise on a platform that there is a cost, but the costs are really quite low compared to other forms of marketing.
Being on social media and having a huge following with loads of customers for free, gives you a bigger budget for other kinds of marketing or for investing in your business.
This is one of the best things about social media. You can monitor and measure the activity on your sites – using the page’s insights. By interacting with customers and looking at how they react to your individual posts, you can gain valuable information about your customers.
You can find out what their interests are, what their opinions are, what they like and dislike. All information that can help you understand your audience and what they want from you.
Be an expert
I touched on this briefly earlier, but by posting well written content, quality images, and video etc., your audience will start to look to you for information and you will become an expert or leader in your particular field.
Social media platforms are the idea place to set yourself up as an expert. Being able to directly speak to your customers also creates a rapport with them, a relationship that you will both value. This could lead to you becoming an influencer.
Social media marketing needs to be done correctly and consistently. If you follow all the points mentioned in this article, you will find that you increase your brand awareness. Your followers will see you as an expert, will enjoy the interaction they have with your business and they will become loyal followers and customers