Here’s an experiment: Think of the three businesses closest to where you are, and search for them online. How many of them had a social media presence?
These days, a business without a Facebook or Twitter account is the exception, not the rule. But there are far better arguments for being on social media than “everyone else is doing it.”
Besides, not everybody is doing it the right way. That’s why we’ve decided to share a few reasons why being on social media is important for your company, as well as some ways to use social media to connect with your prospective customers.
So, first off, why should you use social media?
- It builds your brand. Every social media network you use gives you a new channel to share the content you create.
- It makes your customers more loyal. Studies have shown that people who follow a company on social media tend to be more loyal to that brand.
- Every time you post something, you’ve giving customers another chance to convert. Studies have shown that social media has a drastically higher lead-to-close rate when compared to outbound marketing.
- You’ll drive traffic back to your website. Every piece of content you share is another path back to your site. More traffic means more leads, and more leads give you more customers.
This doesn’t mean your company can send out one-way updates to Facebook a few times a week and start waiting for customers to come calling. Proper social media marketing requires businesses to have conversations with their audience. Here’s why that’s important:
When you start a dialogue with your customers, you can respond to their complaints and answer their questions, which helps humanize your account and build your authority.
Let’s say a customer has an unpleasant experience with your company and complains on Twitter. You can address their complaint and act right away to help mend fences. And if a customer pays you a compliment, you can offer your thanks and suggest additional products or services. It’s just one more way of letting customers know you care.
Don’t be afraid to share content that didn’t come from you if it’s interesting to your readers. Your goal is to educate and delight them. It’s OK to share some things that promote your company, but follow the 80/20 rule, which says that 80 percent of the things you share should inform or entertain your audience.
Make sure to be consistent. When a company goes months without posting, it might seem to fans as if that company is no longer in business.
Being friendly and helpful on social media can humanize your company, but social media can also personalize your business. You can post photos and videos that give people a glimpse of life inside your company, or that display a sense of humor.
Customers, whether other businesses or individual consumers, are often looking for more than a product that ticks the necessary box. They prefer a company they click with, especially if they are planning on signing up for an ongoing transaction or long-term relationship.
Social media lets you know what customers are thinking. When people are on Facebook or Twitter, they’re not afraid to share their opinions, whether it’s about politics, movies, sports… or your company.
Keeping track of these conversations is an ideal way to find out what’s working for your company, and what things you might want to change.