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5 Specific Ways Your (Small) Business Will Benefit from Social Media
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Did you know that there are approximately 2.6 billion Social Media users worldwide? That’s a lot, right? Well, yes and no.
There are 7.7 billion people living on this rock we call our home, so 1 person in 3 has a presence on Social Media. This might surprise you right off the bat, but have in mind that there are parts of the world that don’t have access to drinkable water, let alone to the Internet. Nevertheless, some might argue that outside of those regions, the Internet is becoming one of the basic human needs, which is why the number of its users is constantly increasing. According to Statista, in 2017, 71% of all internet users were using Social Media, as Social networking is one of the most popular online activities with high user engagement rates and ever-expanding possibilities. Moreover, North America ranks first among regions where Social Media is highly popular, with 66% of active users who spend 31 minutes a day on Social Media on a mobile device, 7 minutes a day on a tablet and around 1 minute a day on PC. Aside from connecting with people from other parts of the world, social networks also allow users access to their favorite brands with Social Media presence and engaging with them mostly through sharing user-generated content related to the brands.
With that kind of reach, how can businesses of any size, especially small and medium-sized companies, not take the opportunity to get closer to their target audience and potential customers? To answer that question, we have prepared a list of 5 very specific ways using Social Media benefits your business. Read on!
1) Your business brand is visible and relevant
Establishing your business brand is hard work. In a sea of a million other companies similar to yours, you need to find a way to break through to your potential customers and, in due course, make yourself an indispensable part of their lives. However, you cannot do that nowadays if you are not present on Social Media. As the human race wastes away their lives in virtual reality, a (small) business cannot afford not to enter said reality and find its followers and customers there. By pushing your brand in their feeds, you can pique interest with not only a new and exciting product or service you have to offer (if there even is such a thing anymore), but with the value they get from purchasing from you and not your competitor. A nice little package of eye-appealing images depicting your new shampoo for curly hair or a short video of girls enjoying the feel of their tresses as they have found the exact product they have been looking for their entire adult lives goes a long way in communicating that value. (You can also read about marketing for boring industries in one of our previous blog posts.) And, as you intrigue your precise target audience with what you have to offer, they will only want to see more of your brand in their Social Media feeds. Make your posts entertaining and informative and add your own personal touch to the content you are posting, and your potential followers will not be able to wait to see what you have to say next. That way, you become their first stop for not only interesting content on a subject they are interested in, but also your products become their go-to purchases when in need.
2) You communicate directly to customers
Customer impressions and reactions to your brand and products are have proven to be invaluable throughout the entire product lifecycle. From the conception of the next thing to sell, through all the stages in developing the product and launching it on the market, promoting it right and getting direct feedback can make or break your business. And to have that direct line to customers’ thoughts and feelings about your next business baby has never been easier since Social Media has entered the picture. With a solid follower base of people genuinely interested in what you have to sell, you can collect myriad of unbiased opinions, which can all tell where to turn left and where to go right at each intersection of your thought process. Positive reviews are a powerful tool in branching out and expanding your customer base, but negative ones can be even more beneficial to your business – as unbelievable as that may seem. Good wine needs no bush, as someone once said. A woman finally satisfied with a product that makes her curls shiny and bouncy as in all the commercials she’s constantly watching will spread the word about your product and brand as a whole on her own, which is the type of marketing that millions of dollars cannot buy. But, a woman who says an unfavorable thing about your new curl cream on Social Media prompting you to reach out and assure her you will deal with the matter at hand before you go and fix your product has given you a valuable insight into your production process or marketing approach for free. You doing something about it can only reflect well on your image showing that you care about your customers and their satisfaction. (Read more about the importance of customer reviews, in our post about business mistakes companies usually make.)
3) People come to your website and buy
Social Media can bring you more leads and more sales without investing a fortune in marketing. Your business Social Media accounts are there as a road leading back to your website where you can actually sell your products. By making it visible, approachable and appealing, you are inviting your potential and existing customers to your e-commerce store full of exactly what they need. Creating engaging content for Social Media always needs to be for the purpose of leading the shopper back to the e-store and the product itself. What good does it do to Maya to see that the exact products for curly hair she wants to buy are out there, but that she cannot get to them? Making it as simple and straightforward as possible for customers to understand what you are selling, why that is useful to them and how to get it is how you successfully utilize Social Media to sell. If they cannot go through that journey quickly and obstacle-free, you’ll lose them along the way. The same goes for the actual purchasing process – it needs to be as simplified as possible, so that your customers have no trouble buying from you, because that is the whole point, right? Read about how to boost your e-commerce conversion rate in one of our blog posts.
4) You can see where you are with customers and competition
Composing and paying focus groups to tell you if your product is any good and what they like and dislike about it is the old way of doing things and can be quite costly. Why do that when you can get real people who are maybe already buying from you to share their impressions with you? The two-way street of communication that is Social Media can benefit you greatly here! With every you post people like or share, with every comment to a product you are showcasing, you get to see how the market itself is changing even before it happens. You can see trends as they are forming (by your brand or another one), you can follow the flow of people towards or away from the companies in your niche. By watching genuine human interaction with brands and among themselves, you are in the unique position to influence people’s choices and make sure they come to you. That is how you know to focus on developing a line of hair products specifically for curly hair – because it has been back in style for some time now and women all over the world are going crazy about it just like their mothers were in the 80’s. And also, maybe because you can see that the competition is focused on developing something else or is sparkling dissatisfaction with their own line of products with customers. Just by looking carefully at the Social Media activity in your close virtual proximity, you can see where to go next. Maybe even overrun competition by educating your customers about things they care about.
5) You know who to advertise to
Organic traffic and Social Media engagement require a lot of effort on creating the right type of content that will appeal and engage your brand followers. It can get you far, there’s no doubt about it. But it may not be able to get you all the way. If you want to push your products with even a smidge of aggression, you will need to pay for advertising it. And even that might not get customers just flooding your e-commerce website, but a competitive market asks for a competitive marketing approach. However, if you don’t know who to target, you will be wasting money on the ads – which is an abundance of valuable information you can get from scanning your Social Media followers. Once gathering it, you can tailor and target your ads according to the demographic parameters such as gender, age, social status, lifecycle, occupation, income, and generation. Moreover, by using tools such as Facebook Pixel, you can take action of getting back the reluctant customers-to-be to your website and the exact product page they were browsing before exiting the shopping process. You never know, seeing the ad for your product they almost bought in their Social Media feed could be the tipping point for them and the one thing that gets them to buy a curly hair cream from you and not your competitor.
In the end, what you need to remember regardless of the industry you operate in and the size of your company is to always think about the customer first. Their wants and needs should be at the root of your every business decision, never forget that!