Is Social Media Right For Your Business?

I’m circling back to this topic because it comes up almost each and every day with one client or another or in conversation with a business owner. Truth is, if you have a website for your business and are not REALLY paying attention to social media then you effectively only have a partial web presence.

I can’t tell you how many businesses profess to be involved in social media but upon a cursory glance this social activity is limited to one or two platforms, usually Facebook and involves sporadic, non-strategic posts. No wonder why the motivation to truly make social media a priority is limited or the business owner professes it doesn’t work.

It used to be that businesses who did not have a website, got one because everybody else had one but they didn’t really know why they needed one or how to use it. Now its the same way with social media a decade later. For the purpose of this post I’m going to keep this really simply why social media is important for your business:

1. First and foremost, social media posts drive targeted traffic to your website. Never loose sight of that. Without social media your web traffic is limited to either people who are already familiar with you and those using keywords you currently rank for either organically or via channels like Google AdWords.

A big mistake many businesses make who are already engaging in social media is they view it as a stand alone campaign and more often than not, don’t connect the social campaigns to their web presence or do it so infrequently it barely tips the scales.

Blockquote: The more quality content you syndicate on social media, the more inbound traffic you will generate. More traffic means more leads and more conversions. End of story.

2. Social media boosts your website’s SEO. Search engine crawlers know which pages are constantly earning traffic and which are just floating out there, forgotten and ignored.

Blockquote: Having a content strategy is the key to earning top spots in search engine rankings, but driving traffic to your optimized pages will cause them to climb much faster in the search engine results pages (SERPs)

3. Increased visibility, relationships, brand recognition and loyalty. Just like a storefront, business sign or wrapped vehicle, every opportunity to place content on social media offers new opportunities to make yourself more visible and increase your familiarity. People that see your sign or vehicle don’t necessarily feel they have a relationship with your business, but responding to a question or comment on a social platform will begin to give them that relationship and drive loyalty. Social media engages in ways your website and other forms of marketing simply can’t.

4. Users are more receptive to your message. Users view social media as networks or likeminded peers and not marketing machines so they are more receptive to what you have to say if done in the right way. That can lead to some serious web traffic.

5. Social media is highly targeted and easy to track. Unlike print, broadcast and other forms of brick and mortar marketing online advertising and social media and social media advertising is highly targeted and easy to track. You can target users by things like education level, industry, purchase history, hobbies, interests, location and more.

6. You can test at a fraction of the cost. Have you ever attended a show, placed an ad, run a special or had an event that was a big flop. Social media is a way to test many offers at little or no cost once you have a modest sample size to talk to. From my perspective that’s one of the most valuable features of social media not often discussed.

7. Many of your competitors are using social media already. Some are using social effectively and some are not. The easiest way for you to discover this is to simple search around and see which ones jump out and which don’t. You’ll quickly discover where you may fit in and what kind of task you have ahead of you, what you can do better and how to position yourself.

8. The social stadium is a relatively level playing field. Some brands are big, established and some new and small and their budgets reflect that but everybody starts off on somewhat equal footing. The businesses who thrive and benefit from social marketing are those who are most clever, active, authentic and committed to the medium. If you want to really grow your business you’ll need to outwork your competition while being true to your brand and offer a superior product, service or experience to your customers.

9. You’ll find customers you didn’t know existed. Just by virtue of the scope of social media if you are consistent and pay attention you’ll find new customers, markets and trends you didn’t even know existed.

10. Best of all its FREE, well sort of. Social media can be anything you want it to be. You can spend lots or very little depending on your goals, aptitude and commitment to the platform. Even advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are a fraction of what pay per click campaigns on Google AdWords cost. Think $0.12 vs. $2.00. If you have lots of time social media can be relatively inexpensive and very effective if you have a solid strategy and can support some of your messages on your website too. If you don’t have a lot of time or money, then its good to start small with somebody like Imagica who can help you until it pays for itself, then its a no brainer.

Most social marketing agencies start at about 3k and up per month. For a large company or brand that’s a drop in the bucket. But even a small local business like a builder, restaurant, salon or chiropractor can have an effective campaign by establishing a modest and sustainable budget. That can be $250, $500 or $750 per month to grow your business and remain visible. Best of all its trackable so you can see the ROI.

So in summary, your business doesn’t really exist online in today’s world if your not represented on social channels. The biggest benefit for your business may be that it will force you to be more attentive to your own website. The insights you will receive by being active in social media will drive new and perhaps different content on your website which will be a big benefit to your business now and in the future.

If you are ready to jump ahead of your competitors and feel your public presence could use a boost or you simply want to explore doing what you are doing in a different way give us a call. We can work with any budget and we actually recommend starting small and building as you’ll be more enrolled once you see more customers, traffic and engagement with your business.

In subsequent posts, we’ll look at some of the most popular social platforms and explore the differences between them so you can see which may be best for you and your business.

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