I’m passionate about the effectiveness of social media for business, as someone who’s worked in communications and marketing for over 15 years it’s a breath of fresh air opposed to the cold and staid version of marketing we used to have on TV, in magazine and printed on flyers.
For a start social media is about building relationships with your existing customers. This is a new phenomena. In the dark old days businesses would work really hard at enticing customers over their threshold, buy a product and then not really have any sophisticated way to keep in contact with them. And it's well know that it's much more cost effective to get people to purchase again than go after an entirely new customer.
Now you can talk to your customers on a daily basis, reminding them that you’re there, that you care and that you have the right product for them. Isn’t that wonderful?
Through social media these customers or potential customers you work so hard to get can be returning customers, they can advocate on your behalf on social media, and can build a genuine relationship with you! You can build your own community and tribe, who come back time and again and bring others with them.
Social media also helps you to reach out to new customers; people that are already looking for your solution, that want a product just like yours. You can build brand awareness, get them to buy into your service or product. Raise the profile of your business, get others talking about you, assert your credibility and knowledge in your industry…and then they become customers…and so the cycle continues.
I often find fantastic people and products, but because they're not there talking to me on twitter, instagram or Facebook, when I come to needing them I can't remember who they are, and after a few unfruitful google searches I give up and find someone else. If only they used social media regularly, that first point of contact would turn into a sale!
One thing social media is not so good at is downright selling. People don’t really want a pushy in your face sales pitch over social media. Rather than buy my product or service, it’s more subtle;, this is the difference my product can make to your life, this is how my product will make you feel, this is what buying my product says about you.
The other thing to consider is that people will already be talking about you and your product on social media, so why not be part of that conversation? I’m not saying running social media accounts is easy or without it’s limits, but if you’re not in the game you will certainly miss out. I worked with a company who tour all over the world and they were completely silent on twitter, instagram and pinterest - everyone was talking about them, but they weren't there engaging with their customer. Requests and chats were lying dead in the air with no response!
A final reason to definitely be on social media is that your competition is, and they're building relationships with your potential customers and selling to them! 80% of consumers say that they'd be more likely to buy from you if they found a credible Facebook page - that's huge!
When looking at the why of using social media you'll want to build a strategy around the results you want. It may be brand awareness or building relationships, or you may want to focus on one. Often the ‘why’ is different depending on the social media platform you use.
It's also worth considering that it’s true that not everyone is on social media, and your ideal customer may be found in other places too, which is why social media should be part of the whole marketing strategy.
When thinking about marketing and social media the first place to start is what are you selling and who are you selling too? If you can really nail down these questions, you'll be off to a flying start. They will help you determine which social media platform your ideal customers is on, how to approach them, the language to use and what makes them buy.
If you're interested in exploring some of these questions with me. Find out how we can work together to create a strategy so you can go and find your ideal customer and get them excited about your products.