Nearly 3 billion people are using social media worldwide and that's a figure that is only going to increase in the future. As a small business owner looking to maximize business, you will already know that you need to reach this potentially lucrative market, the good news is you can. But just what exactly are the benefits of social media marketing for your business and what is the best way to go about maximizing its potential?
Build brand awareness.
The world is out there waiting for your business, but if people aren't aware of you they can’t become your loyal customers and buy your product. Good social media marketing increases your company's visibility on a global scale by reaching a new rich and varied demographic. It provides almost instantaneous access to a constantly expanding digital marketplace.
Within the digital marketplace, social media marketing is one of the most user-friendly and accessible platforms. Most, if not all of the major social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are free to join. All you have to do is create a login and you can start posting your amazing content and attracting new inbound consumer traffic to your site.
Can you really afford to overlook a valuable opportunity that unlocks billions of potential customers in an inexpensive and effective fashion? The answer is no, but how can you engage them and make sure they choose you?
Be authentic, today's customers are increasingly less interested in faceless communication with faceless corporations, alternatively, they are looking to build lasting relationships and have fruitful personal interactions. Social media is a huge opportunity for you and your brand to shine and reveal its true face and ethos. Your presence online and social media interactions are all an extension of this brand, so find the right tone for your business and echo that throughout your social media marketing presence.
Be consistent! It’s no good presenting a customer-centric business face and then striking a totally different uncaring tone online. Consumers increasingly equate authenticity with trustworthiness and want to see it running throughout the brand and business. Social media marketing is a great way to constantly update and reinforce your brand identity. What do you stand for? What are the benefits of your product? What are you all about? Show the world through your fresh and unique content.
Interaction and support.
Social media platforms also allow you to show the human element of your brand. Creating meaningful connections is one of the biggest benefits of social media marketing so introduce yourself to the customers, allow them to get to know the real you and the real business. Explain what you do, show the work or service you provide and how existing customers are already benefiting from your products. By posting up to date and relevant content you are attaching your brand to real people in a real-world scenario.
Marketing on Social media enables you to syndicate your authentic content across multiple channels, be it a video story on Instagram, a Q&A on Facebook live or Tweets about your business day. Let the consumer in and engage with them, share with them. In turn, they will share with their friends and your reach will keep on expanding.
Communication between customer and company has changed, barriers have been removed and there is much more of a two-way conversational dynamic now. Read your customers comments and feedback and you will learn valuable information about their interests, how they interact and like to be treated. The more you understand your consumer base the more you can construct the kind of compelling content they are looking for.
As communication barriers are removed customers are expecting instant access and ever quicker and more helpful responses. Problems are now resolved in chatrooms and forums or through private/direct messaging. Social media enables you to promote a reputation as a quick and caring responsive brand. The modern customer loves to be listened to and responded to personally, they like to feel special.
If you interact with your customer regularly in a sincere and entertaining fashion, you will let the consumer know you are actually thinking of them. If you deal with complaints or praise swiftly and authentically, listening, being positive and helpful then you will go a long way to reinforcing your image as a brand worthy of consumer loyalty and trust.
Marketing your small business in traditional ways can be expensive and unfruitful, it can be confusing to know where you should advertise without taking on expensive professional help. How much should you spend, and is it really going to reach the target audience?
With the advent of social media marketing, you can now get a lot of value for money. Aside from the fact that you now reach half the world, many social media platforms have built-in analytical tools. These tools can analyze traffic to your site and identify customer habits and online patterns. This analysis can then be used to target which specific areas you should advertise in. Coupled with your increased knowledge of your consumers habits social media marketing permits you to hit a huge target audience with dedicated person specific advertising, something traditional marketing means simply don't allow.
If you are unsure as to how to begin, start small, just trial a small investment and see what returns it brings. Observe the analytics, if you see something that works then you can invest more money into it. With online and social media marketing you are gaining a valuable, cost-effective means of advertising worldwide, reducing marketing costs and potentially increasing consumer conversion rates, it really is a win-win scenario.
It is impossible to overlook the valuable nature of social media marketing in today's small business world, by keeping informed of current trends and providing entertaining, informative and personal content you will be able to increase visibility, brand awareness, loyalty, traffic and customer satisfaction. All in a very cost-effective and efficient manner, your competitors are definitely going to be doing everything they can to take advantage, so should you.
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