Don’t have time to read this blog? Audio version is available here:http://glcast.libsyn.com/audio-blog-understanding-social-media-for-your-business-part-1
It is safe to say that social media is not a fad and is here to stay. It is no longer considered to be of sole use by the millennial generation. We are now living in a world where everyone from your neighbour’s dog to your local church has its own social media channel. In this three-part series, we discuss whether your business needs a social media presence, how you can make your company’s social media presence more effective, and whether or not you should hire a social media expert.
In this day and age, businesses that aren’t using the leading platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a rare find. Social media gives you the power to speak to your audience, as well as allowing them to speak directly to you. The problem is, it’s a jungle. It’s easy to get lost out there among the thousands of channels, platforms and hashtags. The question is, does your business really need to be out there?
Why your company might benefit from using social media
A vast amount of the population uses social media in some form or another. For example, as of June 2017, Facebook had 2 billion users with an increase of 17% year-over-year. (Source: Facebook 7/26/17) That’s around 25% of the current population. On other platforms; Instagram has 700 million users and Twitter, 328 million.
Consider this. Every new user on social media is another set of eyes that can potentially view your business. This reach is undoubtedly enormous. If you were to consider paying to advertise to anywhere near that amount of reach, your company would never be able to fund it. Social media, in that respect, is the cheapest advertising you can get.
One of the biggest benefits of social media marketing is to increase traffic to your website. The more times your company is mentioned online, the higher your search ranking will be. By sharing content fast and consistently, you are leading more and more customers to your website, and ultimately to creating sales.
An example of a business that would benefit hugely from the use of social media is a start-up company. Smaller businesses with a lesser budget to spend on marketing can really make an impact on their client outreach with smart social media strategies. With the right strategies, social media increases brand awareness, builds connections with existing clients, and offers the opportunity to show off your company’s unique voice in its own creative way.
Some businesses might not need to use social media
Social media can be a huge investment of time, if you don’t get it right then it can be a massive drain on the company’s resources AND reputation. As with every form of marketing, online or offline, it is pointless to waste time and money advertising via platforms where customers quite simply aren’t there.
Some customer bases just don’t align with social media, and some wouldn’t turn to social media to look for a particular service. In some occasions, an offline marketing approach would be more appropriate.
Offline marketing is still very effective depending on your audience and there are many existing businesses that don’t need an online presence as social media isn’t used in their industry. However, it is important to keep in mind that although social media may not be relevant to your business right now, that could change at any moment.
However, it is best to be prepared
Let me put it this way, Facebook started in 2004. This means that by 2024, seven years from the date of this blog, most of the entry level members of your team and significant percentage of your customers will never have known a world without social media. Essentially tomorrows decision makers.
Additionally, regardless of whether social media is right for your business. It can also be argued that any mention online of the brand is positive, and having your name out there on social media will immediately encourage better SEO (search engine optimization).
Whether it is the right time for your business to dive into the world of social media or not, it’s a good idea to understand how it works, should your business ever use it in the future. In part two of this three-part series, I will go on to discuss effective social media strategies, and explore various ways social media can amplify your business.