I hear people say it all of the time. “I’m not on social media. No one cares what I had for dinner or that I got a flat tire on my way to work.”
This is not a bad way to think. Some people just simply don’t want to share their business with the world, and that makes sense. But if you’re a business owner and you don’t get why social media is important to your business, you should keep on reading.
It’s not enough just to have a great product or service anymore. You need to know how to have conversations with your customers. That’s right – conversations. Where traditional advertising like radio and newspaper ads moved in one direction – you talking to your customers – today’s tactics are interactive. If you post something on Facebook, a customer can give their feedback seconds later. Sure, that may seem a little bit scary for business owners who didn’t grow up using social media, but the implications of not being present on social media can be just as chilling.
1. Your customers are on it. (And So Are Your Future Customers)
A lot of people say, “I don’t want to use social media. My customers don’t even use social media.” While that MAY be true, depending on the specific platform you are referring to, according to JeffBullas.com, “72% of all internet users are now active on social media.” This includes 89% of 18-29-year-olds, 72% of 30-49-year-olds, and 60% of 50-60-year-olds. How about 65+? 43% are using social media! Technology no longer belongs in one generation.
2. The conversation is going on with or without you.
Whenever I am training a client on social media, I usually start out by saying, “Let’s see if anyone is talking about you on social media already.” And usually, they are. You don’t need to be present in order for someone to mention your business on social media – but wouldn’t you like to be there to respond to their comment, whether it’s good or bad? Social media is a great platform for customer service, AND a great place to collect positive testimonials from happy customers. Go ahead and search your business name on Twitter and see what you find!
3. It can answer your questions.
Social media allows you to ask questions of your customers and get answers right away. If you aren’t sure if a product or service you’re thinking of adding would be a good idea – ask! If you would like customers to fill out a survey – ask! Social media helps you reach a large amount of people, quickly.
4. It’s free.
Business owners need to be conscious of their budget, and unless you’re paying someone for optimization, graphic design, or management of your accounts, social media is free! What is more budget-friendly than that?
5. It drives traffic.
Social media is a great place to drive traffic to your website. Sharing links to blog posts, links to pages that customers may find interesting, or just links driving them to the site in general is smart – because social media users are link crazy! Social is also a nice place to share your photos, as users are very visual.
6. It’s good for SEO.
Social matter when it comes to SEO, and social profiles DO show up in Google searches. Google + especially has impact on your rankings, as it is a Google product. If you’re looking to be found in search more easily, don’t skip out on social.
7. It’s another way to contact you.
You want to be accessible to your customers, and you can achieve that by giving them as many ways to contact you as possible. Social media profiles don’t only allow them to contact you through wall posts, tweets, and messages, but you can list you email, phone number, and address for people who may for be as comfortable communicating over social media.
It pays to get social, whether you realize the ROI in your investment of time right away or not. Remember that success on social takes time, but it helps you build the lasting relationships you’ll want in the long run.