If you rewind to the early days of the 21st century, most companies had just begun to unlock the potential of the internet to grow their business. They may have laid down some money to have a website designed, but they certainly couldn’t make sales transactions or host videos on it. Fast forward to today. Nearly every company not only has a robust, multifunctional website, but also a prominent social media presence. Some business owners, however, are resistant to maintaining social accounts for their company because of either their personal feelings about social media, or because they don’t feel it’s relevant to their industry. Others would love to be social, but don’t feel like they have the staffing to maintain it. While all these notions are valid to some extent, business owners can’t afford to think like this anymore. Here are some reasons why social media is essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes in the 2020s.
It’s a Direct Line to Current and Potential Customers
Let’s start with something that should be appealing to any business owner or manager: social media is a great lead generation tool. By simply posting special offers or pricing on your business page, you are increasing awareness and exposure. Beyond that, once you have established a connection with returning customers, you can reach them more directly than you could ever hope to with conventional advertising methods like broadcast television, radio, or print.
It’s a Revolutionary Marketing and Advertising Tool
Speaking of advertising, it’s important to differentiate paid social advertising from organic social. Organic social is another way to describe the free posts you deploy from your business pages. Your organic relies entirely on your number of followers, and how many of them share your posts. To further complicate things, some platforms will penalize businesses who post ads organically, rather than buy advertising through them. They may be buried in followers’ algorithms and perform poorly. Many businesses think organic posts on their own are a winning social strategy. They should be combined with paid social schedules for maximum effectiveness. Paid social media is an incredible method of advertising which is arguably much more effective than traditional media. The reason paid social can be so effective is that unlike traditional media, it allows you to serve ads to astonishingly precise demos. You can pinpoint target customers based on geography, age, gender, and income level. Furthermore, you can deliver different ad sets to different demos. For example, if you want to reach both young men and older women, you would be able to run two different sets of creative, and each would only be seen by their intended audience.
Customers Will Use it to Talk About You
Like it or not, the conversation about the quality of businesses and customer service is happening on social media. If you run a restaurant and a customer has a bad dining experience on a busy night, there’s a very good chance that they will post about it on their social accounts. Or worse, they’ll post about it publicly on yours. In this scenario, you have two choices: hide your head in the sand and ignore the fact that people are talking about you, or engage with them on social, publicly telling them that you’re sorry their experience wasn’t up to your standards, and tell them you will message them to see what you can do to make it right. The person who posted the complaint may change their tune, and the rest of your followers will respect that you are making efforts to ensure positive customer interactions.
It can Provide Invaluable Research Data
While formal research is extremely valuable, it is also very expensive. You may be able to gather enough anecdotal evidence through your backend analytics, or even social polls to plot your next marketing campaign or promotion.
Simply put: you can’t afford to NOT have a comprehensive social media strategy as part of your business plan. Your competitors likely know this too, so why risk losing business to them? Spend a little time and money into getting these processes in place, and you may see massive returns on your investments!