Make Friends with Social Media (You’ll like it)These days everyone is on social media—including your customers. Make sure your local business is ready to mingle.
Welcome to 2016!
For most of us, social media has become so deeply engrained in our lives that we can’t imagine getting through a day without scrolling through our Facebook newsfeed at least once. This is especially true of Millennials, 44% of whom state that they check their Facebook at least several times throughout the day. (1) But we’ve gotten to the point that social media is no longer just for the kids; 68.9% of Gen X-ers and 47.6% of Baby Boomers in the US are active social network users. (2) Even senior citizens are on social media, with over 1/3 of the US population over 65 years old being active users. (2)
If you, as a business owner, are among the ever-shrinking number of people who don’t use social media to promote your business, you are missing out on a heck of an opportunity.
Word-of-Mouth of the 21st Century
Traditional advertising, while still great and powerful, is a one-way street. You put out your message and hope that the right person sees it. Social media marketing, if executed correctly, is a conversation; an opportunity for you to actually engage with your customers and prospects. It also allows you to see what your customers are saying about you, and give you a chance to react. More than that though, social media is an outlet for your customers to share their experience with your business with their friends and family, at little to no cost to you. It is a cynical world we live in, so it should come as no big surprise that only about 20% of consumers trust what a brand says about itself. Conversely, roughly 70% trust recommendations (and condemnations) from their friends and family. (3) Take the advantage that social media gives you and make every encounter with your customers a positive one.
Turning a Social Window Shopper Into a Paying Customer
“For successful lead generation on social [media], equip your buyer for success. Be personable, connect with your prospect’s challenges, and give them a next step to move forward.” – Chris Brogan, CEO and Founder, Human Business Works. (2)
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? The mark of any successful marketer is one who is able to identify with and relate to their customers. This concept is universal, no matter what industry you’re business falls into. For example, real estate agents need to understand what homebuyers want (and don’t want) in a property. With regards to social media, this is the basic theme around which you should build and maintain your profiles. That being said, you don’t want every post to come across as promotional. Those in the know recommend a good variety of topics in your posts, offering a good blend of informative and entertaining content. Whatever you post, always make sure to include something visual, and something that will get your audience engaging with your page.
Choose the Right Social Media Mix
In the social media world, not all networks are created equal. It may not necessarily benefit your business to have a presence on every single social network; it’s better to be on fewer sites and be a rockstar on each of them than it is to have a million profiles and not give any of them the time and resources they need to make them great. If you’re a B2C company, you’ll want to be on Facebook, regardless of the other social networks you use. With over 160 million active monthly users, (2) Facebook is the largest social network in the world, and is increasingly incorporating functions previously available only on other networks. You can now upload a video directly into Facebook instead of linking to YouTube or another video network, use hashtags to link your content with other, similar posts, and more. This is not to say that you should place all your eggs in one basket; diversity is your friend. Each network, from Pinterest to YouTube to Instagram to LinkedIn and beyond has its own unique audience and benefits.
We can help you get acquainted
Social Media Marketing can be a business’ best friend if implemented properly, giving business owners the opportunity to connect with their prospects and customers and make their brand a part of their everyday lives. If you know that your business can benefit from social media marketing, but you just don’t have the time for it, contact us online or give us a call at 334.261.1553.
1 American Press Institute and Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs at the University of Chicago, "How Millennials Get News: Inside the Habits of America's First Digital Generation" conducted by The Media Insight Project, March 16, 2015
2 eMarketer, Jul 2015
3 Forrester, Marketo 2014