If you own a business, or manage the marketing team for a business, chances are you’ve heard the term ‘social media marketing’ more than you can count. And, since it’s continued to grow in popularity, performance, and importance over the last several years, you probably understand how vital social media marketing can be to not only putting your business on the map, but increasing your brand awareness, and giving an actual voice to your company. Maybe you already have a social media presence - and by that, we mean a Facebook business page, maybe a Twitter account that automatically syncs to whatever you say on Facebook, and maybe even aGoogle+, Instagram or a LinkedInaccount you post to once in a while.
On paper, it doesn’t sound that exciting to just ‘have’ those things, does it? Unfortunately, that’s where most businesses end up when they realize they need a social media presence, but don’t have the time, or the expertise to run a social media marketing campaign the way they should. What most businesses don’t realize about having a strong social media presence is that it could end up being the best advertising and marketing resource they ever utilize, and it’s all at their fingertips.
Social Media vs. Traditional Marketing
If your entire advertising budget seems to disappear in an instant in the midst of television or radio ads, billboards, etc., we hate to say it, but your money isn’t being put to the best possible use! Traditional advertising methods are becoming more and more antiquated and outdated, and for good reason. The average person is inundated with over 1000 advertising messages every single day. Because of that constant stimulation, most people have adapted in such a way that we can now ‘tune out’ most traditional advertising methods. This means ignoring billboards, turning the radio to a different station, or even ‘fast forwarding’ through television commercials. Simply put, traditional methods aren’t as effective anymore. People don’t want things to be thrown at them, pressuring them into using a service or buying a product. Instead, people want a conversation.
Traditional marketing methods put consumers at the bottom. You may not intend it to be that way, but it’s the natural formation of things. With traditional marketing, consumers have absolutely no outlets to ask questions, connect with your business, review your products or services, etc. You’re simply talking ‘at’ people, and getting nothing in return. Sounds pretty unfair to the people who are actually keeping your business afloat, doesn’t it?
It’s not just your potential and current customers that suffer, though, it’s your own business! Think about it this way: If you sell vacuum cleaners, and a competitive company also sells vacuum cleaners just down the street from your business, you’d probably be willing to do anything you can to make sure customers buy from you, instead of them. Well, if you only advertise with traditional methods - putting up billboards, or putting ads in the local paper, etc., your potential customers might know of you, but not really who you are, or what you can offer. If they have any questions, they can’t get any answers, and for all they know you’re just trying to sell them any old vacuum, without having their best interest in mind. Even if they did come in and had a wonderful experience, how could they ever let people know outside of their closest inner circle? You’re not only keeping yourself from bringing in more potential customers, but you’re limiting yourself to who those customers can tell when it comes to your great service. If your competitor is active on social media, not only can they answer questions ahead of time, and even make special offers, but a happy customer can leave a review for thousands of people to see!
Social media really is as simple as that - it’s about being social with people, and interacting with them just as you might if you met face-to-face.
Give Your Business A Human-like Quality
What consumers tend to like most about all aspects of social media is the fact that it gives virtually any business an actual voice. Even the largest corporations in the world tend to have a strong social media presence, because they realize how important it is to interact with their customers and potential customers on a daily basis. Most successful businesses actually have a person on their team dedicated to only social media, instead of other methods of marketing they may use as well.
Through social media, your business becomes a brand, and you give it a human-like voice, so your customers are able to interact with you directly and learn more about what you do, what you can do, and what your business stands for. Essentially, you’re giving your business a personality of its own by interacting through social media. It gives the consumer more control, pulling them up from the bottom of the pile right into the thick of things.
Not only can you easily answer questions and post relevant, interesting content about your business, but your social media platforms become a central hub where people can talk about you - that means awesome reviews, and a more viral word-of-mouth than you would ever get through traditional marketing methods.
Don’t be afraid to actually give your business a voice. It means so much more than tossing up a Facebook or Twitter page, only to post content once in a blue moon. Having an active social media presence on multiple platforms not only shows your customers and potential customers that you care about your company, but that you’re encouraging interaction, you want to answer questions, and you want them to feel comfortable and trusting when it comes to your business and what it does. There is no better way to streamline this kind of interaction than with a solid standing in the world of social media.