Why Social Media Marketing Matters So Much
If you are a small business owner, then you should consider social media marketing for your business. You may be wondering why social media marketing matters so much, and whether it’s worth paying for good marketing. There are several reasons why you should be looking at building up your social media profiles – and since social media is such a public thing – and both good and bad news travel fast – it’s vital that you have someone at the wheel of your accounts who knows what they’re doing.
The speed with which social media marketing can spread is perhaps the reason why social media marketing matters so much to a small business. When you post something on social media to a public profile, it can be seen by anyone who cares to look. Posts can be shared by anyone and will be spread to a lot of people who are interested in your niche, and many who aren’t as well. If your content is engaging and funny, then having it shared is excellent news. If it’s weak, then not so much! You want to make sure that your content spreads to people who want to hear your message, and you want to make sure that anything you post is truly reflective of your brand. If you make a mistake and get involved with political debates – something that American brand Chick Fil’ A did – then you could end up facing the ire of your customers if they’re on the other side of the political fence to you.
Another reason why social media marketing matters is that it gives you a platform to reach not just people who already know who you are, but people who are on the outside too. Your customers will become some of your most prominent brand advocates – and they will share your posts and invite their friends to like your content. This gives you a chance to build up a strong following online and is a compelling opportunity for marketing.
Social media connects you with your customers. You can talk, and they can talk back. It lets you build engagement in a way that you might not otherwise be able to do. Having the ability to get instant feedback from your target audience -and to answer that feedback, is invaluable. Most of the leading social media platforms offer several ways of tracking engagement – including like/reaction counts, shares, comments, the total number of followers and ways to see how many people have viewed a video, subscribed to information about an event, or liked or followed your account.
The metrics you get from social media will give you a real-time idea of what people like. It will show you what kind of content people are interested in so that you can tailor your content to that. You can promote events, sales or new products or services through social media, and test the waters for other offerings before you make the change.
Social media marketing is just one part of an online marketing campaign, but for many brands, it is the most important. There is a growing trend towards people getting their news, and even product inspiration from their social media feeds. Many people use Facebook or Twitter as their window to the web, only using Google or Bing as a portal when they need to do in-depth research. They’ll be interested in eating out, and see a recommendation for a restaurant in their area when they are browsing through their feed – or they’ll want to join a gym, and instead of searching Google they’ll search for gyms using Facebook – or perhaps Foursquare instead. App-based search is segmenting the web into specific apps for specific jobs. Even Google knows this and is trying to keep people in its ecosystem whenever possible. As a business owner, you shouldn’t just be focusing on building up a good website (although your site is essential) but rather on looking for ways to grow your brand’s reach on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – and maybe even Pinterest and Snapchat to name just a few of the popular platforms. These are where a lot of your word of mouth recommendations will come from, and these are where you will be able to do customer service and reach more people.
Having a weak social media presence could make your brand look less well established, and could hinder you in the long term because you might lose out to people who have more active pages. Your users may see a dead Facebook page and think you’re not a reliable brand. You might even find that a rival claims profiles on sites that you aren’t active on, and uses that for nefarious purposes. Don’t let that happen. Claim your profiles as soon as you can!