I guess the obvious thing to state is that almost everyone uses social media today, and that includes a huge and ever increasing number of businesses using social media as (in some case, the main element), of their marketing activity. But for those that haven’t jumped on board with social media as yet, the question maybe “What is it that social media can help me to do exactly?”
If you are you one of the companies that isn’t utilising your social media channels, or maybe hasn’t even started using social media yet, then here are some great reasons why you need to do so.
But before we dive into the reasoning, it’s key to your social media success to understand who your target audience are, and more importantly, what their motivations might be for following you on social media. This is undoubtedly the best way to determine how you can connect with your audience and of course grow your network, and understanding your customers gives you a voice, meaning that you will be able to create and curate content that resonates with your followers through a customer first approach.
So, to answer my question, “What is it social media can help me do exactly?” here are some of the things it can do…
Social Media can:
- Increase brand awareness and visibility
Social media is a very easy way to increase your brand awareness and visibility. If you understand your customers, you can very easily establish the personality of your brand, giving yourself a voice that speaks to your customers in a way they can relate to. There is an old adage, “People buy from people”, and having the ability to connect with your customers on an emotional level or showing some personality, are both effective ways of helping your brand stand out from your competitors.
- Increase business or brand trust
There are so many alternatives for your customers to choose from these days, and they can become overwhelmed by the volume of companies that are out there. What customers really want is an easy way to identify or authenticate a business that they are dealing with for the first time. Seeing that a company is active on social media channels goes some way to help filling your customers with trust, and should demonstrate that you care about your customers if anything should go wrong, as you are providing them with a channel in which to communicate with if the requirement should arise.
- Lead generation
Put simply, if you’re not using social media to generate leads, you really are missing out on an opportunity to reach a huge market. The question for successful social media lead generation is “How do you take your social media marketing campaigns from a customer service and branding tool, and turn them into lead generating channels?” Ultimately, lead generation is about brining customers into your sales funnel, no matter where they enter, but it’s definitely not the same as selling! We mentioned earlier that you need to understand your customers to be successful on social media, and lead generation is no different. What you really are trying to understand is:
- What your target audience is interested in?
- Which products or services you could potentially sell to them?
- What their pain points are?
- How you can eventually turn them into paying customers?
- Deliver improved customer service
Social media is very often the first place customers turn to if they have sales or support related questions, and leaving these questions unanswered leaves your business looking uninterested and unprofessional. The key to being able to deliver improved customer service is being visible on the social media networks your customers are using, and that you are continuously monitoring your channels for customer questions or brand mentions, be they positive or negative. When you are proactively dealing with comments and complaints, the instant feedback you are able to provide demonstrates excellent levels of customer service, and of course enables you to turn any form of negativity into positivity in a very public way. Such a public demonstration of problem solving and customer service can have a very powerful effect on your reputation. Real-time communications will go a long way to create customer happiness, which creates customer advocates, who themselves go on to drive positive brand sentiment. Being active on social media is such a great way to positively influence sales.
- Engage with customers and promote content
Social media is a simple way of keeping your business or brand front of mind with your customers, and we all know how important content marketing is in order to attract new customers, but what you really need to do is keep your new or existing customers engaged. Shouting about your latest news/products/services on social media will help you do exactly that, and asking your network for their thoughts/comments can go it can help you create business and brand awareness and this engagement means that you can actively influence customer decisions and help foster loyalty and repeat business.
- Obtain customer insights
Customer insights from your social media can help develop, drive and shape your strategic decisions, helping you to make your website content and product or service offerings more attractive and relevant to your customers. Social media makes it easy for businesses to obtain feedback from customers, giving you a clearer idea of your brand sentiment and helping you to identify common pain points that you can then address. A true customer first approach!
So there you go, 6 ways in which social media can help you. And if you are if you are you one of the companies that isn’t utilising your social media channels, or hasn’t started using social media yet, isn’t it time to jump on board?