According to Statista, as of 2019, there are 2.77 billion social media users on the internet. This presents business owners with a huge and free market to advertise to. Despite this, there are still quite a lot of small to medium-sized businesses who don’t see the potential of it, or think it’s a waste of time. In this post, we’re going to explain some of the main benefits of being on social media sites, and give you a few tips if you’re looking to start! First, we’ll have to explain what it is:
What is social media?
Merriam-Webster have defined social media as “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos).”
What isn’t included in this definition is the impact it has for businesses. Because of how easy it is to use social media to contact anyone on the planet, it can be used for companies to do the same. It opens a doorway to instant communication with customers, world-wide broadcasts, and a lot more site traffic.
For a lot of business owners, the idea is daunting. For those who aren’t in the know, the entire concept of social media may seem like a huge group of mysterious sites, all just as unknown and difficult to use as the other. For SMEs especially, there isn’t enough margin for error to try it and get it wrong, so it’s better to just not try at all. However, in the grand scheme of things, it’s an extremely effective, low-risk, high-reward way to put yourself out there.
Having social media accounts gives you an online presence, where you can let yourself be known amongst people who aren’t just walking past your doorstep. Here are the statistics to back it up:
Why an online presence is needed
This question does answer itself, but just in case you need persuaded, here’s an indicator. As of April 2019, 56.1% of the world’s population, and 81% of the developed world, has internet access.
Lack of an online presence is a huge killer for a lot of start-ups, as it makes it a lot harder for your audience to see you. On top of this, there’s just a huge opportunity that is being missed by not being so readily available. We’ve listed some of these benefits below:
Benefits of social media
Almost all businesses have an email address and a phone, which are definitely valid ways to communicate with customers, but social media takes everything that’s good about those two and multiplies it. Messages are instant, recorded, easy, and on apps that the average customer will use daily anyway- this makes customer service so much more efficient for everyone involved. We’ll also add that quite a lot of your competitors will have social media, too.
This newfound easiness to talk to customers also adds an air of customisation. You’re completely in charge of your brand’s tone of voice, which can add a nice personal touch which can set your brand apart from the next. Would you like to be known as the modern tech company? The funny bakery? The honest and professional law firm? You can build this image with your posts and messages to customers. By having Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, you aren’t only much easier to find, but much easier to be liked. Personification is important.
Victoria Schmid of the Marketing Insider Group described social media as “an essential piece of your business marketing strategy”, and we can’t argue with that.
The advertising landscape has changed immensely with the induction of social media, as it’s opened up a lot of doors for start-ups to promote themselves without breaking the bank. By using social media, you can contact leads directly, broadcast deals and offers to them, and even close a sale!
Any kind of post can remind customers of what you do, and that’s why a lot of companies keep audiences up to date with news posts, helpful blogs and other general updates. It keeps your name fresh in their minds, and can give a lot of insight into who the people are behind the products or services they use.
Did we mention it’s free?
This is the big one. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and most other social media sites don’t have a price, and full accounts can be created for nothing. Some like LinkedIn do have extras you can buy, but you aren’t locked out of features by having a free account. There are still unlimited posts, messages and everything else we’ve mentioned previously.
One thing to note is that PPC ads are incredibly effective, and 100% the best way to reach an audience, but these do cost money. You can get by without paying a penny, but Facebook rewards those who are throwing money at them.
Customer service is incredibly important for a business, and every good business loves hearing where they can improve. This is why having an easy-to-access hub where people can leave reviews, give constructive criticism and make complaints can benefit your company. Obviously, your product/service should always be the best it can be, but things happen and there’s always going to be manufacturing errors, late deliveries and whatever else. The key is to try and make it right.
Social media helps us keep up a good reputation by giving us the opportunity to talk to customers one on one. It’s like a customer satisfaction survey, but they’re telling the truth, and they come to you!
Messaging unhappy customers and keeping track of reviews is the best way to be that helpful, customer-facing brand people love.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, there are many more reasons that we haven’t even gotten into. That being said, the four points we’ve stated should be enough to persuade you to jump on Facebook or Twitter. Even just having a social media account can boost sales, improve interaction, improve your brand awareness and more, which all work together to make your business grow.
Or, we can do all this for you!
Social media is our bread and butter. We can get you set up, make frequent posts on your behalf, deal with customers and more! Get in touch using the our contact button at the top of the page.