Think your business doesn’t need social media? Not having one of the most currently used platforms could be doing more damage to your brand than good. You could not only be losing out on customers but even sales by not utilising these networks correctly or at all. If your business is stuck between starting social media accounts or letting the platforms be, it may be worthwhile looking into how many of your ideal audience is actually on these networks, the results of which may surprise you. Even if you don’t feel like finding out these statistics, can you really afford to waste any possible searches people may be putting into social media search engines trying to find you?
So why do you actually need social media, well for one it’s free. Think of social media as a free platform to advertise yourself on. These platforms and designed to be social and make connections, but it also good for exposure and getting your name out. This is because many social platforms are fast growing networks as more and more people of every age join. This fast joining rate has lead to a large majority of each population being active on some sort of social media, including your customers. So if your customers on on there, why should you go find them? The ease of social media makes it even better, as when your customers follow your page they can see your posts and updates when they are out and about as well as at home, possibly even while they are shopping, meaning that if you have both an online and brick and mortar store you are likely to see benefits from social media in each of them.
On top of this constant connection, social media also gives your brand a wider reach in the community. When done well it provides opportunity for not only you to find new customers, but for them to stumble upon you themselves as well. This wider reach however is not strictly random, it is more specialised than it may seem, as followers you gain will only be following you because they are interested in your content and possibly even your products. This kind of specialised audience can lead to higher converting leads as well as a higher amount of conversions with each new customer you find along the way. Alongside this, you quality of your profile and your followers responses to your brand on it will work to influence your conversion rates. This is because social media is highly influential, having shoppers look at how you interact with your customers and what they are saying about the quality of your products can greatly aid purchase decisions. Effectively meaning that good profile comments and communication can lead to sales, as another customer’s word is seen as more reliable than that of a brand trying to make money. Be careful however, as negative comments and bad handling of other customers will put your new followers off shopping with you.
If you get communicating with your customers right and keep up a consistent high standard social media can even help build your customers brand loyalty. As your profile offers content to your followers and helps build up a long standing audience that see you as not only a store, but a source of information that they enjoy. Plus, your posts and comments are a constant or even occasional reminder about your brand that can ensure they never forget about you, and keeps your brand name in the front of their mind when they consider making another purchase that you may be able to provide. Communicating with your audience involves being transparent, helping them out and answering any of their questions but doing this is useless if you’re doing it months after they voice their query. This is another reason that social media can aid you, as it allows real time notifications on customer comments, messages and posts which allows you to work on getting the quickest response time you possibly can. Quick responses lead to better customer experiences, which lead to better reviews if they decide to leave one.
Once you’ve built up a bit of brand loyalty with your followers you can then use your strong line of communication to gain some customer insight into your brand. This keeps them feeling like they are involved and are an integrated part of the running of your company, meaning you are actually building your brand around your target audience’s best interests. When your brands main aim is to sell products, adapting to and understanding your target audience is key to giving them what they want, so having this kind of gain from social media will only build your brand into a great one if you listen to what your followers are saying. This can be done by putting up posts that provoke questions, asking loyal customers to do surveys and even offering a reward in return. Use their most liked content to shape what kind of blog content you write if you have one, but be sure that the ideas on each are not exactly the same, repeated from one source to the other. Else there will be no reason for your followers to check both your social media and blog for the information or news they want, as it will be the same whichever they check.
Another great feature of using social media to promote your brand and its content, such as blog posts and products, is that everything you post is easily shareable. All platforms let users follow or re-tweet posts from other users if they like them. Building up content that provokes this kind of response from your customers can be highly beneficial as it means you will get more mentions on social media and reach more people than just your followers which can enhance your reputation. The benefit of people outside your followers seeing your posts is that it’s likely to get shared further across the platform if someone who happens to scroll by it shares it again, this could also lead to new followers if they would like to see more of the kind of content you put out. For extended sharing put share buttons on your website in places like your blogs to allow your readers to share the post themselves to social media. This is great not only because it gets your post some shares, but it could also be that the reader who shares it was unaware your brand had social media and begins to follow you through the discovery. The more shared and publicly valued content you get on social media the better, as new page viewers will see the effort you put in as a company and the dedication of your current followers, which is likely to lead your brand to become highly reputable if not at least highly trusted.
However great they may be, your posts aren’t the only thing that can bring in the followers as well as the customers. If you’re willing to invest a little money, you are able to create and run targeted pay per click adverts. These adverts can be as expensive or cheap as you want them, but their effectiveness can rely greatly on the budget behind it depending on the sector that you’re working within. When done properly, they can be perfectly cost effective. These ads unlike any organic posts you may put up are seen by new people without fail, this is because you can specialise your audience in ways that let you target social media users based on their gender, age, interests or even their location. Being able to do this means that you can be extra selective about where your adverts are going to be shown and who to. Which is perfect for making sure that none of your advertisements budget is wasted on people who have absolutely zero interest in the products you are selling or the offers you are advertising.