In many ways, its no longer optional for businesses to ignore the world of social media. In fact, its become an essential way to reach customers, gain valuable insights, and to grow your companies brand. In the end, there’s simply more pros than cons when it comes to using social media for your business; and with 3 billion users and growing everyday, its clear these sites aren’t going away anytime soon. Sheripa Marketing found more people follow brands on social media as oppose to celebrities. In fact, 80 percent of all Instagram users are thought to follow at least one business account. If you’re not taking advantage of social media accounts and platforms, you’re missing out on fast, inexpensive, and a vital way to reach almost half the earth’s population.
Social media is a breeding ground for building brand awareness. The variety of potential customers, demographics, and methods of analytics from social media are almost limitless. In fact, recent studies show that 60 percent of Instagram users discover new products or businesses solely through the social media platform itself. What this shows is you can’t simply rely on only word of mouth to get yourself noticed locally, you’ll need social media too to capture additional markets.
A recent study in the UK by Trinity Mirror Solutions found more than half of adults don’t trust a brand until they see ‘real-world proof’ or results that the business or brand is keeping its promises to consumers. You need to humanize your brand in order to connect both with present and potential customers. They need to see what values your brand embraces, that you’re looking out for both them and your employees, and that your products and services work as advertised. Creating real world, human connection is one of the key benefits of social media use for businesses.
Being the go-to source for information in your particular brand or niche is incredibly valuable for any business. Social media allows for your company to establish itself as a thought leader in your specific market. Much like brand advocacy, thought leadership builds on consumer trust and shows your company is dependable. 80 percent of buyers have said thought leadership helps to build trust, and a 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer showed 63% trust technically experts but only 42% trust businesses. This means you’ll need to become an expert in your field, so that your customers know they can come to you for any technical know how or discussion.
One study has found that word of mouth accounts for roughly 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions. The point is, when people are talking about you, your company, or your product on social media; it builds credibility and brand awareness. This leads to a boost in both customer engagement and increased revenue streams. Consider partnering with an influencer on social media. These people typically have large followings in specific niches, and you can pay them to advertise your product; or gift them your product in exchange for a testimonial. The results are limitless and lucrative for any business just starting out.
In the age of social media, information is exchanged on a second by second basis. This can be a good and a bad thing for any business. While it allows you on one hand to provide customer service through instant messaging and rectify business issues in a private manner; social media spreads fast, particularly negative posts. You may run into a crisis where your business has let a customer down and this has caused them to start a war of words. The best thing to do in these situations is to take honest, up front ownership of the situation and provide a solution which humanizes your customer and makes their concerns feel heard. This type of accountability builds loyalty with customers, and is a good standard practice and policy for any business to embrace.
Analytics are a great tool no matter where you get them from. Google My Business is a great analytic tool which any business should be utilizing, but the analytics of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can also be read, analyzed and used to better your brands content and overall engagements. They allow you to see on an even closer level of what is and isn’t reaching your customers. This can prove to be a major advantage for any business, but can be incredibly useful when starting advertising campaigns or new product launches. You should use as much data as possible to make informed, competent business decisions. Social media is just one of the many tools which can help you do this.