Can social media help my business?
This is almost the same as asking if sleeping pills can help you sleep better.
Social media marketing is not for everyone.
Don’t waste your time if you’re thinking about trying just to see what happens. What if you had started your own business with that type of mindset? You probably wouldn’t be in a position to have it in the first place.
I’m sure you can agree that nothing good happens when you approach anything in life with such an attitude. So first, let’s get it right.
And to do that, we need to ask a more practical question. Think in terms of how social media can help your business grow. How can you let people know about your business, taking into consideration the social platforms your client spends most of their time on?
You have to follow where your customer’s attention is focused on and engage with it in the most useful-for-them way. Depending on the type of business you’re in, you’ll have to figure out how to communicate your services to the right audience, at the right time, and with the right message.
The biggest and the most obvious mistake I see businesses make is not having a concrete vision of what they want to achieve with social media marketing. You’ll just be stumbling around, trying to boost your posts, or publishing random content here and there. This is a waste of time.
The reality is, if you want to exist in the 21st century as a business and be viable in the current state of markets, you must use social media and do it competently. If your competitors actively use social media and you do not, they have a leg up on winning more business.
- 71% of consumers who’ve had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. (Source: Ambassador).
- 63% of customers actually expect companies to offer customer service via their social media channels. And 90% of social media users have already used social media as a way to communicate with a brand or business. (Source: Smart Insights).
Regardless of their industry, most companies have the power to become social-media competent. It just takes a new perspective. Before social media was the real deal, businesses didn’t have much leverage to become big brands as fast. Now, by storytelling and creating a good sense of brand awareness online, you can flood your business with raving customers.
Become a brand by telling a story.
Every business has a story to tell. Social media has opened up a whole new world of marketing opportunities that cost almost nothing, in comparison to what you can achieve with it. Small businesses, in almost any industry, can win business simply through showcasing their day-to-day operations, case studies, team meetings, etc.
The big idea is to become transparent and share the actual reality of your business journey. You don’t need to pretend or strive to seem or sound like someone else.
If you really believe that your services and products provide value, then you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You can always start small by sharing photos and short clips of what’s happening under the roof of your company.
A good example is this family-run, bespoke furniture business. These guys are just getting started but it’s already clear they have a lot to share.
Understand the fundamentals of the buying process.
Just having a blog on your website isn’t gonna cut it. Google is flooded with content, which is pretty much copied and recycled, hundreds or thousands of times, for any given niche or industry. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and many other platforms have lot’s of competition too.
But if you stick to the basic premise of marketing on social media, you’ll have a much bigger chance of success in that space. And it’s about knowing your goals and finding the right strategies for executing them.
To begin answering the question on your and most other business owners’ lips: “How do we get (more) customers?”, we need to align your company goals with what you want to achieve on social media. Do you want more leads and sales? A bigger brand awareness? To build a community? To become a thought leader in your industry?
Once you’ve clarified your objectives, start identifying your buyer personas. Ask yourself: Who is your ideal customer, who’s willing to spend the money to use your services or products? What do they need? What is their biggest problem? What are they afraid of? What is their biggest desire? What are their top three daily frustrations? Who else is selling something similar to them, and how?
That way, you’ll be able to layout the fundamentals for the buying process — which you absolutely must use when creating a strategy for your social media marketing campaigns.
Social media is like dating.
In today’s world of social-media business, behaviour in this area can be strikingly similar to dating.
In a Social Media Examiner survey, almost 79% of marketers agreed that social media is the most effective way to develop a loyal customer base. Yet, too many businesses are hung up on the idea of lead generation.
Nothing is wrong with a straight lead-get tactic, at the end of the day, you have to grow your bottom line. However, a trustworthy and long-lasting relationship doesn’t start with a simple transaction. It starts with a connection and an intent to develop trust. And that requires a genuine, value-based approach.
Driving quality traffic from social media is somehow similar to dating. The success of the potential relationships isn’t just determined by what you say — it’s a two-way street where you listen, adjust, improve, and take the next step.
There’s nothing worse than using social media to run standard and promotional content. A better way is to stop what you’re doing and think about the fundamentals: what you want to achieve, who your customer is, what their problem is, and how you can solve this problem.