The top reason given? “It doesn’t generate any direct sales”.
It’s true; you won’t get hundreds of sales overnight. Creating and updating a blog or Facebook page does take an initial investment and on-going work.
But a Social Media strategy can, and will win you business.
Social Media (be it a YouTube channel, or even a Wikipedia page…) can help you as a company improve your Google results. Your presence on other sites, especially those considered “high quality” by Google, generates important links back to your main company website. These inbound links will improve your position in search engine rankings. Don’t forget, that your pages on some Social Networks (such as Facebook) will be indexed by Google and even appear in search results. A great way to maximise your appearance in results – the more page 1 rankings you can get, the better.
90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, only 14% trust advertisements. As consumer review sites like Yelp gain in popularity, brand “e-reputation” becomes important. Social media can be used as a tool to find and build relationships with customers. It’s an opportunity to turn a bad experience into a good one. Also, having positive content (whether it is reviews, comments, conversations…) about your company online is important. It means that when someone searches for you, they’re less likely to find negative comments.
Social Media offers an opportunity to network – important for small businesses, where a significant amount of leads come from referrals. We like Innocents viewpoint on this: “We like conversations, because they’re two way and if they’re good, you learn stuff. Basically, if there’s a new way in which our drinkers want to communicate with us, then we’ll get involved.”
By getting involved in conversations, creating & sharing content and engaging with potential customers, you’re letting your visitors (and/or fans) know, time and time again, that you exist! Not only that you exist, but that you’re listening. Not only can you build awareness, but also credibility.
Feedback & Innovation
Getting feedback on your products (and in real-time) alone is valuable. Social Media gives you a place to discuss – with potentially some of your most loyal customers – what they think about your brand or products. If you have a presence, they’ll have the conversation with you. If you’re not there, they’ll have it without you.
For your Social Media strategy, it’s important to define your objectives right from the beginning, and the platform that suits you. Objectives could be: building awareness, marketing a new product or creating a space for conversations. Deciding on the platform that suits you? This will be based on your company’s specific needs. Just remember, it’s better to be in one place and do it well – than try to be everywhere!