Stop! Step away from the computer, tablet, or your smartphone. Don’t hit that button to send that Tweet with the latest sales pitch to your throng of followers. Don’t do it! Stop now!
Well, stop at least until you’ve had a chance to answer these few questions about how you use social media, what your social media campaigns look like, and what social media platforms will benefit your business. Especially if you don’t know how to use social media or wondering if it would even work for business, then keep reading.
Why is everyone talking about social media for marketing and sales?
The reasons are nearly limitless. Social media platforms are great way to boost your brand’s visibility by getting your content, products and services out into the public sphere. For online retailers, it means customers can shop at their leisure, all day — every day from wherever they are.
There are now at least two generations who have grown up in this new technological world. And with that, social media has nearly replaced any and all traditional networking, personally and professionally.
And it’s no secret that the Internet’s reach is global and with more than 225 new users since August 2014 that can translate into big money; 600,000 new users per day, or 7 per second. Those figures are staggering.
And here is more:
- There are 2.2 billion active users with 1 million new users’ access social media through smartphones.
- There are nearly 2 billion active mobile social users.
- Consumers say that social media plays almost as big a role in purchasing decisions as does television.
What do all of these numbers mean for marketing and sales? Simple, it is the right place to network and help potential customers take action that will benefit your business; become a fan of your content, share it, and trust you enough to share their email address and spend their money with you.
Should I be on all social platforms?
With most people today in 2016 having on average 5.54 social media accounts and 91% of retail brands use 2 or more social media channels, social media is the place to be. But does that mean you need to be on every platform?
Contrary to popular opinion, social media is a place for all brands.
Beyond those four, it depends on your business and what other platforms exist that will help grow your business. For example, if you’re a 3D printing company, Instagram and Pinterest are great visual platforms that can give your audience an inside look into your creative process.
Therefore, regardless of your business, you need to have presence—meaning you need to spend time connecting and engaging with others online. In fact, you need to be taking the actions you want prospects to take — in order for them to become the customers you want.
Don’t know where to begin? Answering these questions will help you determine where you should be active:
Who is your audience online?
It might be different than customers who visit your business in person. Instead, you might be looking to expand your target audience—using your website and social media to expand your reach.
In order to do so, do your research i.e., collect surveys or host interviews with current customers and investors. And with that data, you can finesse your message to attract the right audience that is integral to engaging with your content and ultimately your products or services.
Where is your audience active online?
This part requires research which is uniquely tied to social listening. Social listening is a great tool for tracking your company’s brand identity to better understand the audience that you haven’t attracted yet and how to create content that attracts them to your company. Social listening gives you the ability to see who’s talking about you or related topics in your industry in order to put yourself into the conversation.
How and where does your audience search online?
Search engine optimization is the driving force to gaining ranked attention to your audience. Explore the following stats and see for yourself how the power of seo influences your audience’s buyer journey.
- 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine.
- 86% of consumers stated that using a search engine allowed them to learn something new or important that helped him/her increase his/her knowledge.
- 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase.
Does social media work for every business?
Starting up a 3D printing business? How about an app development company? Contrary to popular opinion, social media is a place for all brands. And in every business, being successful at social media marketing is about more than just having a profile.
With social media, like school and relationships, you will get what you put into it. Many businesses participate because social media is, generally, free and relatively easy to use. But the truth is social media is time consuming and requires consistency, 365 days a year.
Building a solid presence takes time and thoughtful planning of your content. It means posting relevant content, some new and some shared, throughout the day and scheduling content to post on off days and holidays. If you can’t maintain that kind of commitment then this isn’t the platform for you. If your customers aren’t using it, you probably shouldn’t either.
Still, there are solid reasons it does and will work for every business:
- It’s where your competition is;
- It’s where your audience is; and
- The method of delivery may change (text vs. audio vs. video), but it is here to stay.
Why is it important to hire a social media manager?
Social media marketing isn’t your grandfather’s marketing. It isn’t even the same social media marketing as it began a decade ago. With the ever changing tools, you need someone who understands how it works; what and how campaigns will be successful, and how to interpret all those analytics to increase your ROI.
A social media manager will know the practical differences between traditional marketing and marketing on social media beyond how to maximize 140 characters on Twitter. Traditional marketing, print and broadcast, didn’t engage the consumer. It didn’t even aim to educate as much as it did to manipulate the consumer into buying their brand. Social media marketing is highly reliant on engaging a prospective client.
And navigating it is no easy task. We live in an instant gratification society with a plethora of information at our fingertips, 24/7. There is almost no place left in the world where potential customers can’t access information quickly and make purchasing decisions on the fly.
Still need to be convinced that you need someone to manage this part of your business? Especially if you don’t have the time to effectively use your social media, hiring an in-house social media manager or outsourcing to a social media management company are beneficially useful to connecting, engaging and nurturing your audience online.
Yes, today’s social media landscape may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Social media platforms are a great way to boost your brand’s visibility by getting your content, products and services out into the public sphere and into the right hands—your current and potential customers and investors.
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