We’ve heard them all before: Frequently made excuses for not putting social media front and centre of digital marketing strategies.
The time for discussion has passed. Nine out of 10 businesses agree that an active social media profile is vital to remain competitive, increase leads, grow market share and build a loyal following to bolster their brand. Where does that leave the other 10%?
Social media is now one of the four main pillars of digital marketing, sharing the spotlight with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising and content marketing.
As its significance continues to grow, small businesses fail to acknowledge the role of social media at their peril.
Here are some of the excuses we hear trotted out by businesses to avoid getting serious about social media marketing.
EXCUSE NUMBER 1: BUT what if I get customer complaints?
Make no buts about it, it’s better to know customers aren’t happy than to see sales tank and your reputation following closely out the front door. Give customers a forum to vent their frustration and sing your praises.
Complaints are often more of an opportunity than a problem. Get on the front foot. Don’t delay asking how you can put things right.
Putting your business on social media puts you in control of how customers perceive you. Everyone can see how you handle complaints. Happy customers will be quick to tell their friends and family about you and soon they’ll be knocking on your door as well.
EXCUSE NUMBER 2: BUT I don’t have time for Social Media
Online marketing has changed. If you are still wasting money on ideas that stopped producing results two years ago, now is a good time to switch plans. Focus on what works now and dump strategies that don’t deliver the goods.
All business owners are time poor. If you truly can’t find any time to market your business and you don’t have staff, engage an agency that has the expertise and experience you need to do it for you.
Did you hear about the business that didn’t have a marketing budget or plan? No? Neither did we.
EXCUSE NUMBER 3: BUT Social Media is not right for my business
Are you serious? If you think this is true, you’ve been the ‘but’ of one of the worst jokes in history.
At last count, Facebook had 14 million registered users in Australia. Almost 10 million use their accounts for half an hour or more every day. Millions more have accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and many more social media channels.
Doubters, get real. Most of your customers can’t live without their mobile devices and they spend more time on social media than watching television.
If your customers are on social media and your competitors are on social media, where does that leave you? Missing out on the conversation, that’s where!
EXCUSE NUMBER 4: BUT I don’t know where to start
Be helpful, informative and transparent. Avoid aggressively selling your products or services.
Social media is all about building trust, nurturing relationships and growing a community of loyal followers. They’ll keep coming back for more if you demonstrate you can listen to what they have to say and deliver the information they crave.
Sharing all your expertise and experience with customers is a sure way to get their attention and earn their respect. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, request testimonials and show how you can have fun.
EXCUSE NUMBER 5: BUT I’ve already tried social media and it doesn’t work
Do your homework, identify the people you want to attract to your business.
Advertising on social media targets potential customers based on what they like. Advertising on search engines attracts people based on what they are researching.
Both approaches have merit. But advertising alone is not enough to convert viewers into customers.
Social media pages that don’t provide visitors with the information they are seeking are no different to poor websites. We’ve all seen Facebook and Twitter pages with no posts or a lone ad with a link to an order form . . . FAIL!
Make sure you are adding value and sharing information that helps move people towards a decision to do business with you.
EXCUSE NUMBER 6: BUT Facebook is not a serious business tool
Like TV, radio and online search engines, social media offers businesses a variety of channels to connect with their customers.
Social media advertising targets people based on what they have confirmed they already like. Communicating directly with people who have a demonstrated interest in a product or service gives social media a powerful advantage over other forms of advertising and communication.
Social media leverages off word-of-mouth and the concept of social proof. Noticing that a friend already “Likes” a product or service helps break down barriers of trust more quickly than with advertising alone.
Not serious? I must be a clown after all!
EXCUSE NUMBER 7: BUT how do I assess my ROI?
Let me recap:
1. Growing an audience.
2. Nurturing relationships.
3. Building brand loyalty.
4. Encouraging engagement.
5. Generating referrals.
6. Social proof.
7. More leads.
8. Increasing testimonials.
9. Attracting more repeat business.
10. Creating a platform for direct advertising.
All of these benefits can be measured.
Social media’s time has arrived. Wouldn’t it be crazy to let your ’but’ get in the way of building a successful social business?
- How to Build your Social Media Audience
- 4 Reasons Visual Content is Key to Creating Successful Social Media Campaigns
- How to Register on Facebook