You may be the classic “no, I don’t do social networks,” person who wants nothing to do with social media for your personal life, but if you run a business, abstaining from social media is not really an option anymore. You need to have a presence across the major social media sites like Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter and (possibly) several others that might make sense for your company.
The main reason is to have and to maintain as much control as possible. Some of the more specific reasons include:
Customer service and public relations
Even if you’re a local business that’s been around for years and you’ve gotten along fine without social media all this time, the fact is, your customers will bring your business into social media one way or another whether you like it or not. Maybe a bad review or two won’t hurt your business that much, but if all your reviews tend to be on the negative side and there are a fair amount of them out there, the perception is going to be two-fold:
1) Maybe your business is that bad and 2) You don’t care.
Negative reviews and publicly posted complaints are, to some degree, taken with a grain of salt and can be forgiven. Everyone has a bad day and makes mistakes (customers and businesses alike) and a lot of would-be customers will understand that. But how a business handles complaints goes a long way to sway the opinions of would-be customers who are trying to determine whether or not to do business with a company.
Content marketing and search results
If your company produces content and shares it via social media, it goes a long way towards helping you in search listings. In short, it factors into SEO. Also, the landscape of search results pages has changed so that you will see posts from social media sites that relate to your search. It helps you fight the battle on multiple fronts.
Each one has its own audience
Sure, some people are active users of multiple social media sites (and mobile apps, etc.), but not everyone uses all of them. This is one big reason to create and maintain profiles across most of them. Each one offers a new audience to your business, so the more engaged you are with each one, the more your business stands to gain.
Branding and authority
A Google+ profile is important, particularly when you are building a brand and working to be an “authority” in your particular field. I would consider this an essential one to have set up. Maintaining profiles on Facebook and Twitter and others is also essential, but for different reasons because each platform represents the potential for new customers, particularly for local businesses.
Likes, Tweets, re-tweets, +1, check-ins and the like all have some degree of influence. They can help your business in terms of visibility and popularity. Friends and followers on social networks will see that others have liked or shared something which can be an effective means of branding. It can also re-enforce your message or call a person to action.
Positive feedback and reviews
Hand written comment cards and letters are great, but it’s so much easier for a person to leave a positive comment or review of your business on any number of social sites than it is to sit down and hand-craft a letter of praise. Not only that, but a social media review that’s positive is much more valuable for your company.
Resources and performance measurement
How do you know what you’re doing is working? And what kind of time, expertise, money and effort are really required to operate social media campaigns? This is exactly where your type of business, your resources and your marketing budget come into play. One of the main points of resistance that companies will cite for not running social media campaigns is that they don’t produce a solid return on investment. This is the same issue that companies use for other types of online marketing campaigns as well. In my experience, the absence of a plan which includes clear goals is typically the reason for failure. Yes, there are some challenges, but building trust and integrity is most certainly a worthwhile investment. If executed properly, a well-planned social media campaign can not only help to increase business, but it can also be the foundation for a long-lasting, highly engaged and expanding audience for your business.
Together, we can build your social profiles and expand your business.
Contact me today to discuss what fits for your business when it comes to social media.