“Can social media really help my business to grow?” “Doesn’t it take a lot of time and effort?” “Is it worth all the hassle?” “Will it generate real results?”
These are questions we get asked a lot at Tenfold Media, and we understand the concern. Social media can seem like a lot of work for little return – but it doesn’t have to be that way! Social media can be a fantastic tool to help you reach new customers, build relationships with existing customers, and ultimately generate real results that help you grow your business. With the right strategy it can be very easy, very effective, and even fun!
Today, social media is an essential part of any business’s marketing. The first stage of an inbound marketing strategy is to attract customers, turning them from strangers into people who might be interested in buying what you have to offer. Social media is one of the key tools you should be using to attract these potential customers.
There are hundreds of reasons why social media is essential for your business. Below are the three that I think are the most important for you.
Social media is an easy way to reach potential customers
When used correctly, social media is an easy and cost-effective way to reach hundreds of customers on a regular basis. Over 75% of online adults use social media, so the chances are your customers are already using social networks regularly. Why not meet them where they are already spending their time?
As Amy said in her last blog post on creating great Call To Actions, these days you simply won’t reach customers’ wallets if you don’t make a social connection. A lot of people are browsing social media sites on a daily, if not hourly basis, whereas the frequency of their visits to your website is probably much lower. This makes social media an easy way to connect and communicate with your target audience on a regular basis.
It’s all about relationships – and social media helps you build them
Once you’ve reached new customers, you need to gain their trust. We all know that trust is an essential part of any relationship. In order to gain a customer’s trust you must 1) put a human face on your brand, 2) engage with your prospects, and 3) share content that delivers real value. Social media allows you to do all of these.
Creating a trusting relationship in turn creates loyalty, so your customers will keep coming back to you when they need your product/service and they will pass your name on by word-of-mouth. This increases brand awareness and improves your reputation and legitimacy. All of this eventually leads to more sales/conversions.
Social media will help you achieve your goals
If you’re a business, the end goal of your marketing strategy is probably to drive sales. To do this you need to drive customers to your website, either to buy a product/service or to make contact with you to begin a sales process. Your social media strategy should therefore revolve around getting customers to your website, and it can do this in one of two ways.
The obvious way is that when you post content (like a blog post) to your social media, you link to your website to read the full article. Boom, your potential customers made it to your website. The second way is a little less obvious, and it’s about search engines. Google and other search engines take cues from social media activities – like when someone shares content from your website on Twitter, for example – to determine the relevancy and authority of your site. So the more people that ‘vote’ for your content on social media, the higher your website ranks in search results and the more people find your website. Once people make it to your website, you just have to convert them to customers with great Call to Actions! Easy, right?
Still not convinced?
So does every business need social media? Yes! Even if your business can gain no benefit from engaging with customers on social media (convince me in the comments) there are loads more reasons why your company should be on social media anyway:
- Boost your website’s search rankings: as mentioned above, maintaining an active presence on social media can have a big impact on your search rankings.
- Control your online image: when customers go looking for information about your brand, wouldn’t you rather they ended up in places that contain information that you can control?
- Boost your reputation inside your industry: using social media gets your brand noticed by your peers and competitors too, which raises your profile within your industry.
- Prepare for the future: one day, your currently ‘irrelevant’ social media audience could become your core target market!
Social media really is an essential part of any business’s marketing
Ok, so you’re convinced, right? But where do you start? How do you create a social marketing strategy that will deliver a great ROI without taking all day? Check out my new blog post, ‘Social Media Strategy: Tweet Like A 10 Year Old‘, where I’ll do my best to give you a few ideas for how you can generate your own highly profitable social media strategy.
Have you used social media to engage with customers and grow your business? We’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below.