Social Media, How Do You Serve Me? Let Me Count the Ways
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People keep telling you to dedicate time and resources to breaking into social media. Should you? YES. Here are 5 reasons you must invest in it (and those who know how to work it).
Just in case you or someone you know still hasn’t caught on, social media has evolved from its roots of friending and (hopefully for some people) dating. It was inevitable. When a lot of people gathered in one ‘place’, who wouldn’t take advantage to do a little marketing? Well, I think Friendster and some other defunct spots indeed did NOT. But Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and a host of others know the power of their platforms and make sure everyone knows the lay of the cake and eats it, too.
We won’t get into how much Facebook has changed itself to tailor to businesses as much as to lonely singles and techie grandmas. And perhaps because of this very vast range of inclusion, social media is powerful for entrepreneurship, and it can launch your little business sky high if you have (or hire) the muscle and expertise to make your presence felt by thousands of people.
1. It’s proof of your relevance
Gone are the days when you simply have to advertise what your product is, what it does, and how it does better than its competitors. Now you have to advertise that your brand is worthy through your awareness of what’s going on around you. It’s as easy as sharing a joke, or as sensitive as sharing a joke on a political matter.
Brands must provide a steady stream of articles, photos, videos, and other resources to demonstrate their relevancy and bring in new customers.
– Social Media Today, Pam Dyer
2. It’s key to brand awareness
It’s as classic as flyers and posters. It lets people know that your brand, product or service is there. But 75% of searchers don’t browse past the first page of Google results. So you need a strong social media presence to be at the top or thereabouts.
3. It inspires, and therefore invites, interaction: a site visit to read the article, download the infographic for printing, Like/Comment/Share/Retweet, etc.
This is linked to Google results and brand awareness. You get ranking by getting a strong social media presence. You get a strong social media presence through the quality of content you deliver.
Quality means Likes and shares. Likes and shares come from how pertinent (useful, fun, smart, touching, etc) your content is: images, infographics, jokes, videos, articles, etc. If you have a good number of them posted regularly (amount and age of relevant original content), if your audience reads them (time spent on-site per user) and talks about them (social media chatter: likes, shares, mentions), that adds up to your Google ranking.
4. Potential customers see your social media as your reputation and trustworthiness
Do you reply in the comments? When customers post on your page with queries or reviews, do you reply? Are you ‘friends’ or have you ‘liked’ other businesses, services and communities related to yours? Do you post regularly enough? The last one especially shows the business is healthy and active, and customers prefer to transact with healthy and active businesses.
5. Social media amplifies traditional word of mouth and grows organically with time
After converting leads into sales, now comes the reviews. A social media presence not only makes it possible for your customers to give you feedback, it also encourages them to do so, especially if they see you replying, thanking and even featuring such reviews. On Instagram, I’ve seen small business owners do this tactic religiously.
A customer posts a photo of the product upon its arrival and/or use, captioned with praise for the product and the transaction. The small business owner reposts this, and the upshot of it is not only do these feedback photos prove the business’s legitimacy, it also motivates other customers to post a ‘happy customer’ photo as well! They do your advertising for you in their own feeds!
Still in doubt? Go to these 16 Stats That Prove Social Media Isn’t Just A Fad over at Hubspot.
Once you’ve drilled it into your psyche how much social media can do for your business, you can strategize on WHAT you need to share and WHERE you’d do best sharing it. You can also start (or your social media expert can!) with the WHO, other businesses, brands and social media biggies you should connect and engage with.
HOW MUCH time and resources depends on what you want to accomplish. Also from the stats linked above, as little as 6 hours a week works wonders in lead generation.