Why you should be on social media!
At a time when all businesses are unsure what the future holds, we often hear the question – “why should I spend time and money on social media?”
Do you like or loath social media? For many people it can be a bit of a marmite thing. You either find yourself constantly checking for new posts on Facebook or Twitter, or you’ve never seen the point. People talk about social media in terms reminiscent of rehab – ‘addition’, ‘cold-turkey’, you can even do a detox!
A fact that may surprise you – 96% of online activity takes place away from search engines. This can mean a number of things, but it certainly denotes time on social media. The average internet user now spends 2 hours and 16 minutes on social media, according to figures from January 2019, and 45% of the globe’s population is on it. That means 3.48 billion people.
Social media certainly isn’t a fad. Whatever your personal view, you can’t ignore it. As a business owner you need to primarily consider your customers and they are going to be on social media.
So, what are our top reasons for being on social media?
Brand awareness – you provide a product or service and when a potential customer realises they need that product or service, you want your name to instantly come to mind. For example, a factory in south-east London suddenly finds it has a problem with pigeons. If they have seen a post about Cleankill Pest Control’s Harris Hawks, then they are more likely to use their service. There may be no direct link between the post and the purchase but in the mind of the customer, theirs is the name that ‘rings-a-bell’.
The key, though, is consistency. There is little point in posting once every few weeks. You need to be regular and you need to be consistent. When the hypothetical company is ready to buy the product, they will then think of you.
Makes you human – why do your customers choose you? Price is important, so is quality, but what people really buy is people. If you are on social media and you appear human, you are approachable and people like that.
Don’t be opinionated or rude, just make sure your social media followers like and trust you enough to further investigate your services.
Increase website traffic – your website is your shop window but how can you be certain people are going to walk by and take note? Social media has the option for ‘paid-for’ advertising. It is surprisingly cost-effective, and you can target it quite accurately to the right people. For a few pence per click, you can proactively drive potential customers to your website.
Analytics – social media comes with a whole array of analytical options which can tell you things like where you customers are, what they like to engage with, and even what operating system their phone uses. You may think this is unimportant, but data is where the money is. Used correctly, you can learn a lot and learn to target customers more effectively.
Keep an eye on the competition – there are only so many ideas in the world and a particular industry there are even fewer. The chances are your competition has looked at you and stolen ideas from you and other competitors. This may be ideas for website content, product innovations, or social media posts. If you wait for ideas to reach slower, traditional media sources, the zeitgeist may have been missed.
You want your business to be positioned at the cutting edge of your industry, and more importantly you want your customers to acknowledge that. Being on social media is where you can not only learn how to stay at the cutting edge, it is also where you can demonstrate that you are the company to be working with.
I am always amazed how effective social media can be. For example, we’ve just helped the musician Tom Doughty reach 700 followers on Facebook and the seasonal shop, Catsfield Christmas Tree Farm, reached 3,000 (one of our goals for the 2019 campaign)in December.
These numbers may seem tiny in comparison to the 110 million Twitter followers for President Obama but they are very real people who can interact with you and your business. It is all a matter of scale. With Catsfield, it would be a waste of time and resources to focus just on enlarging the number of followers – you can buy followers but they won’t buy your product! What we need are followers in the right place and that inevitably restricts the number of potential followers.
Finally, in the run up to Christmas we ran a simple ‘best decorated tree’ competition for Catsfield. This is a positive use of Facebook that allows people to show others their beautiful trees. During the whole campaign we did several paid-for adverts but what really amazed me was how in 24 hours, with no expenditure, we managed to get Catsfield’s name to nearly 5,000 people – all of them friends and family of current customers and therefore people who are more inclined to buy their trees. That is 5,000 people when Catsfield has only 3,000 followers!
That’s great exposure.
Happy New Year!
Need help with your social media, email Suzi at firstname.lastname@example.org