In today’s fast paced world, small business owners may find themselves struggling to complete their essential day to day tasks. When the must-dos are piling up to enough work for the next six years, who wants to think about social media? The truth is, companies who invest their time in a solid social media strategy and effective social media presence will find that the long-term benefits outweigh the present struggles. Here’s why.
Develop your Reputation
Reputation is key in today’s market. Consumers want to do business with a company they know and trust, and keeping a strong social media presence can help you develop the kind of reputation that draws customers to you.
One way to bring in your customers is by establishing yourself as an industry expert or leader in your filed. When customers see you as knowledgeable, someone whose knowledge and experience they can trust, they will naturally be drawn to you. In addition, they will refer their friends to you when they see you with the confidence that comes with industry experts. You can make this happen by taking advantage of social media. Maintaining a social media presence and blog on your website allows your customers to see your knowledge without that knowledge being overbearing. They come to think of you as someone who they can trust and turn to when they have questions.
You can also develop your company’s reputation by addressing both the good and not so good comments put out by your customers. Transparency in business is valuable in today’s society. Trying to hide issues or problems breeds suspicion in the consumer. Rather, when complaints come through social media, addressing them honestly and quickly can actually further the effectiveness of your brand rather than bring int it down. Your company will be viewed as concerned, open, and willing to help their customers.
Outreach and networking
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. That is never truer than when it comes to business networking.
There are over 7.5 billion people on earth, and every day nearly half of them get online. In fact, the average American spends twenty-four hours each week consuming information from digital devices, and that includes time spend on social media. Think about an ideal day in your business. How many customers can you have a meaningful interaction with if all of those interactions happen in person or even over the phone? Even the best businesses are limited in the number of connections they can make. With social media, however, your potential connections increase exponentially. Your reach is greater in number and farther geographically when you are using the internet to reach your customers. The only thing limiting you is your internet connection speed.
Not only that. When you have an active and effective social media presence, you enable those customers who already connect with you to connect you with their friends. People are 90% more likely to trust a company recommended by a friend. Providing a community where your customers can like and share what you have to offer can make a huge difference in your bottom line. Social media provides that space and that community. You will probably find that you are just the friend of a friend someone needs.
People are “over” advertising. No one likes a used car salesman approach to interacting with customers. By developing a social media presence, you portray your business as a person, one who your customers can get to know and can interact with. It humanizes your company, and when your company is seen as a person rather than a machine, customers will naturally be drawn to you.
Not only that, but an effective social media presence establishes you as someone who is helpful to your consumers. People may not be standing in line waiting to hand you their money. But it is generally true that if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Businesses who put valuable information out to their customers without asking anything in return will see that when those customers are ready to buy, you will be the one they turn to. Blog posts, curated content, and social networking can all be ways for you to give your customers more value and establish a relationship with you.
Social media is the place where complaints and praises happen. How many times have you come across a post in your social media stream that gives kudos or criticism to a company a friend has interacted with? When you have a social media presence, these comments are sure to come your way too. Replying to comments or concerns your customers make in those social media channels allows you to form a bond with them. Even a disappointed customer, and we know you don’t have any of those, will come away with a positive feeling toward a company who acknowledges their concern and makes their best effort to address it. And today that happens via social media. And what about the other customers who see that conversation but aren’t involved in it? They will come away from the experience viewing your company as authentic and as one who cares about their customers. And these qualities draw new customers in rather than pushing them away.
The Long Game
These are just a few of the benefits of maintaining a strategic, effective social media presence. Social media is a long game. By investing in relationships and giving your customers added value through social media, you form relationships with them that will pay off in the long run. When these people are ready to make a decision or a purchase, they will come to you. Think of it like a friendship. Companies that constantly promote themselves or chase down customers are like a friend that is too clingy. They may be there and always present in your mind, but you really have no desire to spend more time with them. On the other hand, picture a friend who is a good listener and an encourager, always cheering you on and supporting you in achieving your goals. These are the people who, when you need something, you will turn to. If you want to make a real impact in how individuals see your company, an impact that makes a real difference in your bottom line, social media is the way to go.
If you need assistance with your business social media strategy, contact us at Winged gods Creation today!