Social Media: Friend or Foe? Why It’s Important and Why It Makes Sense To Get Help
Social media is a must for anyone who wants to strengthen relationships with their target audience, increase brand visibility and grow their business.
Due to fast and modern advancements in digital communications the world has become a global village, social media enables us to access others around the world with just one click.
With an estimated 2.67 billion social media users by 2018, the potential for growing your business online is enormous. Entrepreneurs and small business owners keen to benefit from this global market should be making a conscious effort to build their online presence. If you’re not sure you do, take a look at these statistics:
- 79% of adult internet users are on Facebook, that’s a 7% increase from stats taken in 2015. ( Pew)
- During the first US Presidential debate in 2016, debate-related live videos generated 55 million views on Facebook alone. (Wall Street Journal)
- 70% of the U.S. population operates on at least one social networking platform. (Statistica)
- The average social media user maintains at least five accounts. (Link Humans)
Here’s 5 benefits to small business owners of engaging in social media activity and social media marketing:
1. Increase brand awareness
Brand visibility has a double effect on your targeted audience. It familiarises existing customers with your business and products/services, and gives potential customers easier access to you. Social media offers a friendly and informal way to introduce people to your brand. Twitter, for example, is one of the leading social networking sites in terms of active users globally. With a single unique tweet about your company, an active Twitter perusing a newsfeed can hear about you for the very first time. A retweet by the same user makes it visible to friends, family, colleagues, and virtually everyone on the followers’ list. Talk about the multiplier effect!
2. Earn Customer’s Confidence and Approval
Quality content is not enough to convince potential customers that your products or services are the solution to their problems. 71 percent of consumers who’ve had a positive service experience via social media are likely to recommend that company. Positive reviews on your social media accounts go a long way in converting potential customers into loyal fans.
3. Unequalled Customer Service Delivery
The last thing any small business wants is a flurry of dissatisfied customers feeling abandoned because they’re lacking your attention. These unhappy people often resort to sites such as Facebook and Twitter to air their grievances and rant about the poor experience or quality of a product or service they’ve received.
Avoid getting yourself into this situation by ensuring that you respond to all complaints and queries in a timely manner. Interact online and don’t leave people hanging. Make your audience feel loved by encouraging discussions online and asking for their opinion. It’s key to allow your customers to see you as a human, not just a brand.
4. Higher Conversion Rates/SEO
Google started indexing tweets again in 2015 meaning it can pick up what you share online. This has the potential to boost your visibility on the web. The higher the number of active followers you have on Social networks, the more likely Google is to view you as a friend. Embedding the link for your website and/or blog on your social media accounts boosts your SEO and helps to drive traffic, increase leads and conversion rates.
Studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.
Utilising social media to grow your business is possibly your most cost-effective strategy. The majority of social media accounts are free to create, and social media marketing is ‘almost free’ unless you decide to make use of the paid advertising options. Paid advertising can help, but it certainly isn’t a necessity.
Many entrepreneurs and small business owners have said the following at some point: ‘Running my business takes up all my time, I don’t have any left for social media activity and marketing.’
It takes considerable time and effort to achieve and maintain an interactive social media presence. Many feel overwhelmed and immense pressure to juggle social media activity alongside the other tasks key to the effective running of their business. This is why outsourcing social media activity can really help to ease that burden.
Why You Should Outsource Your Social Media Management and Marketing
Entrepreneurs and small business owners have to take on so many roles, they have to be Book-keeper, Marketer, General Manager, Copywriter, graphic artist, proofreader, customer service manager, accountant, technical expert, the list goes on. Adding ‘Social Media Manager and Marketer’ is only adding to what seems like an exhaustive number of duties for just one person.
Here are some of the main reasons why it makes sense to outsource your social media and social media marketing activity:
1. You don’t have enough time
You must have said this yourself. You simply don’t have enough time. Nobody expects you to do everything in your business. Besides, there’s only 24 hours in a day, and you need to add in downtime. The need to prioritise tasks couldn’t be greater.
2. You simply don’t want to do it
Many feel the pressure to be active on social media, but they’d rather be spending their time elsewhere. The problem is building and maintaining an interactive online presence requires patience and dedication, it’s a process that develops over time and requires strategic planning if you wish to see results. Thus, if you’re not passionate about it, chances are you won’t stick with it long enough to gain any return for your efforts.
3. You Can’t Keep Up With all The new Trends
The world of social networking is constantly evolving, with new developments arising every day. Add to this every platform has it’s own unique audience and features. It’s really tough keeping up with it all.
4. You’re Inconsistent
When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? When was your last Facebook post? Consistency is key to success on social media.
5. It’s Cost Effective
If you employed an in-house social media manager or team even, you’d have to pay them a salary, provide them with benefits and pay for their office equipment. You could take on someone less qualified/experienced to lessen the expense, but this could cause you additional problems.
Outsourcing is a flexible and inexpensive way of ensuring your work gets done.
In the words of business consultant Peter Drucker: “Do what you do best and outsource the rest!”
If you’d like to discuss how I could help you by relieving some of your social media related pressure, please feel free to contact me.