The Importance of Social Media when it comes to online marketing
Posted on 12th January 2020
Love it or loathe it - social media is essential for the success of your business.
That’s just a fact. No matter what your personal feelings are about social media accounts. No matter what you’ve read about Facebook or Google’s corporate activities over the last few years, the truth of the matter is that these organisations provide you with a platform to reach a global audience at the click of a button.
It’s a marketing opportunity that companies in decades gone by could only dream about.
Just compare these two concepts. Paying fairly large sums of money for an advert in a local paper, crammed in somewhere near the back where no-one will read it.
Or a free platform where you can create all kinds of written, visual, and video content that has the potential to reach a global audience of billions. There’s just no contest.
If you’re still unsure, we’re going to provide you with plenty of very good reasons why we think we’re right about this.
1. Creating awareness
One of the most difficult things for any small or new business is creating awareness in people’s minds that they simply exist. Without a huge marketing budget, getting people to acknowledge your existence, or measuring your impact, can be very challenging.
However, using social media you can create a business profile, network, and boost your visibility at the local, national, and even international levels. Best of all, it’s all completely free. So, what have you got to lose?
Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than simply putting up content and hoping people will see it. You need to devise a social media strategy and use this as your platform.
For example, if your aim is to bring in more people in store, use your social media accounts to promote in store events. If you want to boost online sales, then direct people to your ecommerce sales funnel.
2. Establish authority
What sets you apart from your competitors? Do you know your industry better or feel like you can offer a more comprehensive service? If so, then use your social media to prove it. You can use the various platforms to establish yourself as an authority.
Post relevant and engaging content, and make sure you link to sources of rich information, such as reviews and testimonials.
In short, you should be aiming to establish your business as trustworthy and knowledgeable. You want to become the ‘go to’ source in your relevant field. And social media can let you achieve this, if used correctly.
3. Set the tone
It’s always important to be professional but be careful not to present yourself as too corporate and dry.
These days customers want to see businesses with a bit of personality. It may take some time and effort to create your brand’s tone of voice – and this very much does depend on the services you offer. But social media has allowed businesses a platform to do things in a slightly different way.
You can be more direct, casual, or even funny in your social media engagements. And your followers like to get a glimpse at the people behind the branding too, so don’t be afraid to add a bit of your or your staff’s personality in your content.
Social media has an amazing ability to communicate at a personal level in the way traditional marketing can’t.
4. Encourage interactions
Another major advantage of social media over other marketing is that it is interactive. Rather than people simply seeing your advert in the paper, on the radio, or on TV – they can now see it, like it, comment about it or even share it with their friends. And all of this engagement is visible and quantifiable.
That means you can tell what is working and what isn’t. This level of interactive data is invaluable to any business.
Try and create content that engages your audience. Give them a behind the scenes tour of your workplace, host question and answer sessions or webinars about your area of speciality. You can even livestream special events.
The various social media platforms provide you with multiple ways of reaching out and getting your customers to feedback.
5. Assistance for customers
Social media is also the quickest and easiest ways for your customers to get the support and assistance they need. Whether this is an answer to a question via a chat service, to leave a review or even make a complaint.
Rather than manning a customer service phone line or running a slow email service, you can now resolve issues and offer support in real time. The key is to respond as quickly as possible and make sure that customers know they are valued.
Always be professional and resolve any disputes as quickly and positively as possible.
6. Low cost
We mentioned that all of this is completely free, and to an extent that is true. It costs nothing to set up a Facebook business page and post the odd piece of content.
However, it’s also true that this is not without cost. To devise and manage a social media strategy takes time and effort, which of course, costs the business money.
If you want to use the targeted advertising functions offered by some platforms, then this will also cost money. But the amount you spend is determined by your needs and requirements. It is possible to run effective social media campaigns on very little. Compared to other forms of marketing, the risk and reward ratio is incredible.
As you can see, these are all very convincing reasons why a social media presence is an absolute must.
It should form an integral part of your wider branding and marketing strategy and is well worth the relatively small amount of time it takes to set up and manage. How far beyond that you go is up to you, but a basic presence is an absolute must.
Of course, for social media marketing to be truly effective, you need a professional website to direct your social followers to. If you'd like to learn more about our bespoke web design services and how our online marketing can help you, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
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