So as a bit of a self-professed social media expert (I’ve spent more hours on Instagram that I’d care to admit…) this is a question that I very regularly ask myself and others when it comes to marketing. How important is social media in a marketing world, and does it apply to both B2B and B2C? With the likes of one celebrity being able to affect Snapchat’s share by roughly $1.5 billion in a day by one single tweet, I’d say it’s very important. Brands are constantly looking for ways to contact their audience in the most direct way, and with people having mobile phones on them at all times, it’s hard to ignore as a channel.
One of the most important issues is that you need to identify which channel suits your customers’ best. Investing time and money into setting up a Facebook page is a bad idea if 90% of your customer base doesn’t know how to use Facebook or has shown to be more responsive to direct marketing. It’s also important to keep these pages up to date as it can have a negative effect on your business if your last post is 3 years ago as it brings into question whether the business is still active. It’s also important to post things that are relevant to your business and to your audience, as you don’t want to be spamming your customers as this again may have a negative effect. Running social media in business is a juggling act but overall can be a great way to help give you more brand awareness.
So here are some top reasons to get involved with social media:
Most social networking platforms are free so the only cost will be the time put into setting the accounts up and maintaining them. You can opt for paid ads, but most of the time you can generate leads without having invested any real money.
Helps you engage with your customers.
Opening up a two-way street of communication with your audience can instill faith in your company. This is also a great opportunity to show the personality of your brand. If you’re responsive enough, this can give you real reach and allows your customers to feel a connection/loyalty to the brand. Not only does it give you a chance to engage with your customers, but it gives your customers a chance to engage with you.
Improves your brand awareness.
This is particularly relevant if you’re a new start up. It’s also great if you’re launching new products or appealing to different customer bases. Getting your name out there via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook can be really easy especially with the likes of hashtags as these can catch on quickly and give you a good foot in the door for new customers.
Improves your SEO rankings.
From a recent trip to the Brighton SEO exhibition, it became evident that a strong social media presence can actually affect your rankings. Not only does it provide you with more social media profiles that can dominate the search engine results page, but it allows you to divert more traffic through to your website, constantly updating the content and overall gives you more exposure. This signals google to let them know the brand is credible.
So whether you’re a new business or an old business looking to talk to a younger generation or get more brand awareness, there’s quite a lot of low-cost high-reward benefits for getting in the social media scene. The hardest task is finding someone to maintain your presence and ensuring that you’re responsive to any and all engagement, positive and, if not more importantly, negative.