You probably look at Facebook and say to yourself, “It’s great for sharing pictures of your vacation, but can it really help my business?”
The answer is yes. Businesses around the world both mega brands and local mom and pop stores use social media to grow their brand and gain customers.
Here are 5 reasons why you need to start utilizing social media to drive more business.
1) Because your customers and prospective customers all use social media. According to a report from the Pew Research Center 74% of all internet users use social media.
When you look at the numbers by age groups they’re even more impressive. For people ages 18-29 90% use social media, for 30-49 year olds it’s 78%.
Even at the older end of the spectrum the numbers are huge. For ages 50-64 usage is 65%. Ages 65+ usage is 46%.
Now obviously you can’t reach everyone, but you have to fish where the fish are if you want to catch anything.
2) Because personal recommendations are how business grows even online. Word of mouth, personal recommendations, advice from colleagues: these are all ways that business gets done. You’re much more likely to use a vendor or try a local business that was recommended to you by someone you trust.
So when one of your followers gives you their digital recommendation by commenting, liking or sharing your social media content, it’s a vote of confidence by that person to all of their friends and followers.
But instead of that recommendation being made to their neighbor across the fence like in the old days, they have now made it to over 600 of their social media friends.
3) Because social media gives you a way to communicate the benefits of your products like never before. By using social media, you have a chance to educate your followers about the benefits to them of your product or service. This works better if you offer helpful information instead of a sales pitch. No one wants to be sold all day long.
So for example if you are a bowling shop you can post on social media your reviews on the latest bowling balls or other equipment and how that equipment will help people bowl better.
You can also mix in tips about bowling form and how to improve your game. You could even shoot and post some training tips videos.
The possibilities are endless. Just keep it helpful and informational and stay away from sales pitches.
4) Because social media is a new opportunity to provide great customer service. I don’t know about you, but these days it seems to me that great customer service is more rare then ever before. So much so that when you do get great customer service it really stands out as the exception to the rule and it has a major impact on the way you feel about the company that delivered it.
Some brands excel at social media customer service this while others fail. The trick is to respond as you would if the person was right in front of you. When you have an unhappy customer in person you do everything you can to make it right. Simply do the same on social media.
Address the issue and use the opportunity to make it right for the person. The bonus is that many other customers or potential customers get to see that awesome customer service and that reflects very well on you and your company.
When you make it right with someone, they often will let others know how happy they are about your awesome service.
5) Because the average social media user has over 600 social media connections. It’s kind of like that old shampoo commercial where they say she’ll tell two friends and they’ll tell two friends, and so on and so on and so on.
If your posts are valuable to your followers they will share them to their followers. When you offer up great content you can get a lot of play out of it and really ramp up your social media ROI.
Don’t focus on creating “viral” social media content, focus on content that has value to your customers and they’ll take care of sharing it.
So regardless of the kind of business you have, there is definitely a benefit for you to be using social media. Like any other marketing effort it will work best when planned and strategized. Although social media is free to use, it does take an investment of time to make it effective.