We think almost every business can benefit from the power of social media. The benefits are endless, from building relationships with your customers to reaching an entirely new audience.
Social media is a growing list of platforms, many of which you may never have heard of or even realised were considered social media! There are so many social media channels available that you may not even be aware of how often you are actively using it.
Based on popularity, ease of use and tools – our top picks are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Of course, not all these are relevant for every business so pick carefully. Depending on your industry we might recommend other channels entirely. We always recommend to our clients to pick one to start, master it and then move on to the next.
Here are 5 of many reasons why you should be using social media for your business.
1. Social media allows you to give better customer service
Social media is just that – social. It allows us to speak to our friends, family, and customers instantly.
If your business provides customer service, Facebook is an excellent platform to speak directly with your customers, at no additional cost for you or them. It even allows you to set automated messages dependent on the time of day your customer is contacting you and your opening hours.
Twitter has also become a popular choice for customers to talk directly to businesses for queries and complaints. The life of a tweet is about 20 minutes, and people expect replies very quickly. So, if you choose to use Twitter then be prepared.
Speed is celebrated by social networks, Facebook, for example, will show visitors to your profile how long they should expect to wait for a response from you based on previous interactions with customers. A speedy response gives a positive impression to the user that you value their requests and respond timely. As Facebook and Instagram are now one and the same you can easily access your Instagram messages through Facebook and respond through your business manager.
2. Social media helps drive website traffic
When we talk about digital marketing strategies, social platforms are the ideal way for you to reach new and existing customers in creative ways. These users may not have been looking at your website or searching for your service, but if you get them to engage with enticing content, you have a chance to build interest, bring them to your website and in turn improve sales.
Using social media is also a great opportunity to share links from your websites such as your blogs and special offers. As a standard a rule of 80/20 has been used, this means to focus only 20% of your posts should be self-promotional while 80% should be informational and helpful to your users. Though it’s important to remember that not everything will work for everyone and testing what works for you is key.
Google and other search engines also favour websites that are linked to and from social media. If you build a profile and gain a strong following your social profiles are more likely to appear towards the top of search results, giving you more dominance.
Customers respond well to a business’ that is active on social media as it shows that you are interesting, knowledgeable and that you care. As a result, customers are more likely to visit your website.
3. You’ll target new audiences
With paid social now in full swing across all the main platforms, you can build campaigns to reach more customers. Facebook has the most effective and detailed targeting tools available on any social media platform which allows you to really narrow down and identify your ideal customer.
4. It allows you to show your business style
With internet quality and speed improving in recent years, we have seen a surge in image and video content consumption.
While platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn allow you to post images and videos, Instagram comes out the clear winner and it’s not hard to see why. Instagram is primarily images and videos with a short bio introduction where you can link to your website. Businesses that have a specific look or even have a style they can show off can benefit and engage with customers who appreciate this very effectively on Instagram. Those who have a product to sell will benefit greatly here!
5. Social media allows you to manage your reputation
More and more of us are using social media to not only talk directly to companies but talk about them! What better way to show your love or hate of brand than leave a review on social, whether its Tripadvisor, Facebook or Google My Business.
This is both a blessing and a curse for companies, your happy customers are the best word of mouth marketing you could ask for, however too many bad reviews and you risk an unwillingness to buy. Sprint Digital, an established digital marketing agency in Dublin, always recommends responding to all reviews, the good and the bad, this shows that you are actively listening to your customers and can also give you an opportunity to defend things that may be untrue.
Top Tip: Never reply to a negative review straight away. Take the time to calm down and let someone else take a look with you.
We hope that our brief overview has made you realise the value of getting your business on social media. When deciding where to dedicate your efforts it is key to understand who your customers are and what social media platforms they use, and how they use them.