While it’s true that more and more business owners are recognizing the need for social media marketing, there are still a good number of small business owners that have yet to fully utilize the growing number of social media sites as a marketing tool. There are a number of reasons for this, the most common of them being:
- Fear of change and/or the unknown
- The stubborn belief that social media is a passing trend
- The concern that there will be little to no return on investment
As a business owner, I understand that you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of any and all moves you make in and for your company. This applies to everything from bringing on a new client, creating a new department, training a new hire or even implementing a new policy or dress code. No matter what you do, you want to be certain that it’s going to only benefit the company before you commit to it. This is especially true, however, if you’re going to be spending money in the process…
So, we come back to the original question: Is a social media campaign worth paying for?
The answer is yes and no, depending on one main factor: Who is doing the marketing?
Clients Will Trust You More
I would say that this is the number one reason you should consider implementing social media into your business (hence, it’s #1 spot on this list). Consumers are wising up as to who they’re buying from, and more often than not, they’ll research you before committing to you. If you have a social media presence that is both engaging and engaged, you’re sending out the message that your business IS reputable, and that you can be trusted.
It Humanizes Your Brand
There is no room for traditional marketing terms on social media. Consumers want to interact with real people, and social media gives you the chance to show them that you ARE a real person.
It Grows Your Sphere of Influence
Your sphere of influence is the people around you and your brand that you interact with on a continual basis. With social media, you can have a larger sphere of influence, and a stronger one. There will always be key people of influence in your niche, so spend time to get to know them through your social media channels. Interact with them. Study them. Ask advice, and if you feel you have some to give, give advice. The more you engage, the greater your chances are of developing a relationship with a person of influence. And as you build relationships with people of influence, people will begin to see YOU as a person of influence.
Your Competition is Using It
If that’s not reason enough, I don’t know what is.
Also, think about it: Companies are spending thousands of dollars a month on social media marketing—and not just small companies…big names like Coca-Cola, NFL, Apple, Microsoft, Target and any others you can think of are too! Do you think they’d be spending that much money on a marketing strategy that didn’t work? No!
Social media works. In fact, Emarketer shows that almost 40% of small businesses that sell on
Facebook say it’s their biggest sales channel. Now that’s some food for thought for you…
Your Target Market is On It
The numbers do not lie: A majority of the world is using social media. Facebook alone has upwards of 1 billion users. More than 600 million of them on are daily. Twitter and Pinterest aren’t far behind, and other social media channels such as Google +, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Instagram and Tumblr catching up too.
You want to be where your customers are at, right?
Well, social media is that place.
Google Takes Social Sharing Into Consideration When Ranking
You might have a marvelous website, but if no one goes to it, then it’s virtually non-existent in Google’s eyes. Also, if people aren’t talking about you on the web, you might as well not be on it. The way to get people to talk about you – and the way to get Google to acknowledge your existence – is to post, post, post! on social media channels!
Free Brand Exposure
Need I say more?
Social Media IS Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is the best kind of marketing you can have, as one friend is trusting another’s judgement when buying a product or enlisting a service. Social media has made word of mouth much easier than it used to be. If a friend sees a product or service online that they KNOW their friend or loved one would like, they either hit “share” or they copy and paste the link on said friend’s/loved one’s wall. That’s it. It happened in less than 60 seconds, and it most likely resulted in a sale.
Social Media Provides Transparency
Consumers don’t like to think that they’ve had “one pulled over on them.” With social media, they can be sure that one won’t be.
Opens the Door For Communication
Social media makes it easy for customers to voice complaints, express concerns, share their desires and give praise – and it makes it easy for companies to respond to their customers’ comments. Long gone are the days of “speaking to operators,” waiting on hold or holding their breath for a call back. Communication is instantaneous with social media.
Improved Customer Service
This goes hand in hand with #10, but it deserves its own line. You can never have enough improvement in customer service, and social media just adds one more channel in which your customers can go and seek out help – and then praise you when you respond within a matter of minutes!
And I thought I would just reiterate this one one more time, it’s that important! There’s no better exposure than free exposure, and social media provides just that!
Again – Is Paying for Social Media Necessary?
Unless you’re a marketing expert, or unless you have somebody in house who is, then yes – the answer is a resounding yes! Too often, marketing efforts are cut or overlooked in a company. Many times, these efforts are taken on by somebody within the company – someone who has no marketing experience whatsoever!
“when they have extra time.” This can actually be detrimental to the company, because although these people might be quite skilled in what they do, they are unskilled in creating a strategic and effective marketing plan. Furthermore, by trying to wear several hats, or by insisting that the people within the company do so, business owners are taking away from the overall efficiency of the company.
How to Determine if a Social Media Strategy is Worth YOUR Time and Money
The best way to do this is to try it out, and then track results. There really is no better way
At Visual Compass, we know the importance of continuous analysis and project fine-tuning. We understand that your success relies on our ability to evaluate what is working and what’s not, and to fine-tune every aspect of your marketing campaign. Through analytics and other related efforts, we help you reach out to your target market and achieve your sales goals in as efficient and cost-friendly way as possible.