Social media is an interesting thing. People tend to want it to give them instant results – more clients, more business, more money – but that’s not really how social media works (and that’s not a bad thing!)
A good social media strategy helps your business in a number of ways:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your website
- Legitimize a brand
- Increase sales
- Provide better customer service
Increase Brand Awareness
Social media – done well – makes your company top of mind. (Think about Wendy’s irreverent humour on Twitter as a great example of this.)
Increasing brand awareness is about picking the right platform for your audience, engaging with your potential customers and your loyal fans, and maybe throwing in a fun contest every so often. The goal here isn’t to necessarily turn every like into a customer (though it definitely happens), but to show people a little of who you are so that when they are ready to install a flux capacitor, they think of your Deluxe Flux Capacitor Emporium. Or whatever.
Drive Traffic to your Website
In 2015, Forbes reported that social media drives 31% Of All Referral Traffic. That’s a sizeable chunk. If you aren’t on social media, you could be losing almost a third of your potential web traffic. Of course, you also have to be sure that your website is optimized so that you can turn more of that traffic into customers, but more traffic is generally positively correlated with more customers. Companies with websites generally want people to see those websites. Unless your website is terrible. In which case, HAVE I GOT A LINK FOR YOU!
Using social media to drive traffic is something you want to do with care, though. If every post you make is a link to something on your website, it can lose effectiveness. But as long as you are creating genuine value, a post that sends people to your blog is a wonderful way to serve your customers while also promoting your site.
Legitimize a Brand
63% percent of consumers who search for local businesses online are more likely to use businesses with information on social media sites. Basically, even if you make it to the top of Google, if you aren’t also on social media, you are going to lose customers. It makes people wary when they can’t find a Facebook review or a Tweet from your company. Showing up on social media makes you appear more permanent, more invested in your business, and more committed to your customers. And you really should treat social media as if it does all of those things.
It’s also a great place to showcase how you interact with your customers. Seeing customers being treated with respect, but also like friends, is very appealing for someone looking for the services you offer.
Although we usually don’t recommend social media as the quickest way to get immediate sales, it definitely does help your bottom line. Social media customers contribute 5.6% more revenue & visit your business about 5% more. Essentially, when you use social media correctly, it engages people, and engaged people are more likely to be loyal fans and customers.
Loyal fans are also more likely to get their peer group invested in your business as well – on average, one happy client tells 9 friends. If you use social media right, you are giving them the tools to tell more people, and your pool of potential clients grows exponentially.
Provide better Customer Service
Depending on what your business is, this is often your biggest opportunity for growth. When a client receives positive social care, they are 71% more likely to recommend you to others. Think about that – excellent customer service is almost a licence to print new customers, if that were a thing.
An interesting study by Bain & Company suggests that good customers service on social media can actually increase the average amount those customers spend in your business by 20-40%. Taking care of your customers is incredibly important. If you can increase your customer retention rates by just 5%, you will see your revenues increase by somewhere between 25% and 95%.
Can I get an “Hallelujah!” for that?
Convinced that social media can help your business? And…a little confused how to do “good” social media? We can help.
Because social media might not be the fastest path to increased revenue for your business, but you are definitely leaving money on the table without it.