Between Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, social media can seem very overwhelming. What platforms should you use? Which are more effective than others? Why do companies even need all this confusing social media? What’s the point?
The good news is that you don’t have to use every site and platform if you don’t want to; in fact, some might be better for your company over others. For example, if you’re a financial group, then you’ll probably use LinkedIn for more content-based posts about financial services you provide. But if you’re a jewelry store, Instagram could really come in handy for displaying your store’s bracelets and earrings. It all depends on who you are as a company, how you want to represent yourself, and how you want to reach your clients.
With technology constantly changing and clients wanting responses on service immediately, social media has become a must for any company that wants to successfully market itself. Using social media in any business has many advantages, such as potential for your brand to spread, consistency in communication, online conversation with clients, and helping your clients find what what they need when they need it. Social media is still a developing medium (despite being around for 10 years now!) and the pros definitely outweigh the cons when it comes to the positive impact social media can have on your company. Here are five reasons why you should start using social media today.
How many times have you been put on hold during a phone call, even though “your business is important to us?” Wouldn’t a company employee talk to you immediately and directly if they really cared about your requests? Social media makes that possible. When your client posts something on your company’s Facebook wall or Twitter home page, your administrator will receive an immediate notification and be able to respond to the client right away. No wait times, no phone menus, just a quick comment to your client’s question. Social media is also more personal than automated phone calls, with one-on-one human communication; it involves just one person in your company at a time reaching out to a client or customer.
Social media encourages more transparent conversation and the need to establish yourself as a legitimate company that places its clients’ needs first. You must be honest with your clients when you try to help them, and always remember to be polite and respectful online; you’re representing your company as a whole through these interactions. Consistently updating your social media content will also legitimize your company, as 63% of consumers are more likely to use a local business if said business is active on social media. If clients are pleased with the honest service you provided them, they will talk about your company either by word-of-mouth or on their own social media pages. This will generate even more activity for your company’s online presence and may attract new clients as well.
You have the opportunity to engage with an evolving target audience. But what exactly is a target audience? This includes the people, groups, and organizations that you are specifically trying to reach with your social media presence and content. The great thing about social media is you can touch a variety of different audiences through certain articles, encouraging word-of-mouth between clients, and using the social media platforms that you think they’ll find most effective. Don’t be afraid to target your posts to their needs and situations–for example, if your company is a family-friendly organization, it’s perfectly fine to post articles about kids’ safety and family-appropriate movies for the summer.
Social media also improves your SEO presence with Google+, shares, and the like. SEO stands for search engine optimization and is often overlooked when professionals talk about social media’s impact. When you type the name of your business into a search engine, some of your social media accounts should appear as top query results on the first page–that’s how you optimize your company’s search engine presence. Not only will this give your company more visibility online (since most of us don’t search past the first Google page anyway), being a well-known name will give you clout among clients and other professionals in your local community. Having a face to your company’s name will make you more approachable, both in the office and out in the community as individuals.
See, you don’t have to do all the work! Encourage your users to take an active role in Facebook and Twitter discussions; prompt them with a question and monitor their responses. You can also promote your company’s culture on YouTube and LinkedIn, by asking what your users think of your company. Seeing that you are willing to be active in your clients’ day-to-day conversations and care about their engagement will encourage them to buy into your brand and your other content. When your target audience, in turn, shares your content, this promotes discussions between them and their followers–or, for you, potential clients.
A common marketing mistake professionals make is placing more importance on the number of likes, comments, and shares their company gets rather than how many new clients your company actually gains. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the numbers of shares, since this is a major way your company’s brand can spread. In 2014, sharing content via computer increased 11% from the previous year, and sharing via mobile device increased 28%. Clients sharing your content does make your company more accessible to a wider range of users and more visible in your community, but the most important thing to remember is that you want to gain new clients, not just receive their likes, shares, and retweets. You also want to guarantee that you are making your current clients a top priority.
So what are you waiting for? Social media marketing is calling your name, and with just a few accounts and a plan for postings, you can do great things for your company and help more and more clients every day. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us for a consultation!
Treefrog Marketing is a marketing agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.