Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Over a decade since the creation of both Facebook and Twitter and it’s obvious that these platforms (and others life them) are here to say. Social media isn’t a fad, it’s something that’s incredibly important to your business and not a tool to be overlooked. But is your business using it as well as it should be? Here are some of the ways you can make the most of these platforms, and why they’re so important.
It Shows You Are Legitimate
One of the most difficult things to do as a small business owner is to encourage people to take a chance on you and place their first order. When there are so many scams and fraudulent websites online, customers can be wary of shopping with sites that are unheard of, and rightly so. This means it can be difficult to keep up with your more established competiton, as people prefer to shop with companies that have a recognised brand. However there are things you can do to show that you’re genuine and legitimate, and running your social media sites correctly is one of them. When you have a good following, and questions and queries are being answered efficiently it shows that people are using your site and buying what you have to sell. And any issues are being dealt with quickly and professionally which can encourage people to take a chance and place their first order with you. Once they have shopped with you once and can see everything was fine, they’re more likely to come back and/ or recommend you to others. It can be tricky to build up your following, but if you make it worth people’s while they’re far more likely to press that follow button. You could tweet out offers and discounts, meaning your followers are the first to hear about sales and bargains. You could share exclusive information, run competitions and giveaways, and chat to/ work with bloggers following your brand. Use an app like Crowdfire to monitor your followers, you can get a Crowdfire overview here. This helps you to clear out unfollowers, easily follow people back and much more. It generally helps with the running of your social media accounts.
Share- Friendly Content is Free Advertising
Social media makes for an excellent marketing tool, and research has shown that people respond far better to this than traditional advertising. You can use your accounts to send all kinds of materials about your products and brand and it will reach the right people, and best of all it’s done in a fun and casual way. For example, if you write a blog for your business, you could share the engaging articles you have written. You don’t even need to write your blog yourself, there are lots of talented bloggers and freelance writers online who sell their services. Create a brief for them to work to, and you will get engaging and exciting content produced- it won’t break the bank either. Even chatting with customers who tweet you about your brand, sharing jokes and images relating to your brand and message and much more can all help create a connection between you and the customer. This kind of engagement has been shown to work time and time again, and in fact many of the most successful corporate Twitter accounts rarely even need to post marketing materials. Instead they simply use the platform as a place to have fun with their customers. Because information between you and a customer will show up on their timeline, it means their friends will be able to see this too (just make sure all posts are set to public) it’s another way to get your name out there. You could ask customers to send in pictures of themselves using and enjoying your products and post these out onto your timeline, there are tons of options and it won’t cost you a penny.
It Allows You to Connect With Customers Directly
Don’t overlook the ‘social’ in social media. Being able to speak with customers directly and provide a personal response is one of the things that makes this platform so great for businesses. No sending an email and waiting for a reply, or having to phone up and sit on hold. Your company can speak to and respond to customers quickly, the bigger your business gets the more workers you may need to employ to be able to tackle these efficiently. There’s no complicated ticketing service, and it also provides customers with a quicker answer which can boost your sales. If someone is on the fence about making an order, and would like to check or confirm something first, having an instant answer means they’re much more likely to go ahead. Instead of making them wait for a reply, in that time they could have lost interest or purchased from one of your competitors. It allows you to provide excellent customer service, which is extremely important to your success as a business. Customers want to be dealt with politely and professionally, and feel valued.
Customers Can See Your Reviews
One of the ways a customer will decide whether or not they want to purchase from you is by looking at your reviews. And the good thing about reviews on social media is that people can see they were written by real people. Clicking on their profiles will show they’re legitimate customers and the reviews haven’t simply been made up. You could share positive reviews written by customers to your timeline, plus sites like Facebook give you the option to add a review tab. You can’t ask for positive reviews in return for any kind of compensation, but you can simply ask nicely. Many people will be happy to write a nice review if they have had a positive experience with your company.
Social media isn’t the only thing to be focusing on in your business, but there’s no denying what an important element it is and it’s certainly something to get right.