1.79 billion people in the world have a social media profile. That is almost 2 out of 7 people on the entire earth.
In the US, 73% of adults have a social media profile and that is up from 24% just 7 years ago.
To top it all off, 7% of respondents reported purchasing goods and services directly from businesses on social media (this accounts for direct buys so the real number of “buyers” is larger). When you translate that into raw numbers, it is nothing to balk at.
Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are no longer fads that will come and go. They are here to stay and any serious business owner ought to take notice and jump onto the ship if they already aren’t.
Here are 8 reasons why your business SHOULD be on Social Media in 2016
1 ) People research online before they purchase from brands
But what if you are not one of these big companies and someone happens to mention your business name to their friend ?
The person who just heard your name most likely will hit the World Wide Web and starting typing away to do their own Private Investigator work, no ?
As a matter of fact, make that 30% of people who go and search a business’s social media accounts before they decide to patronize the said business.
Of course, statistics show that it is mostly millennials (Ages 18-25) doing this but even without knowing what the statistics are for the older generations, chances are if you have typed up a business name in Google, you will be led to their websites where you will be invited at some point to join them on social media.
2 ) Social media gives a business a way to humanize and interact with everyone
Social media gives your business a way to “come out of the shadows” so to speak and humanize the business.
Years ago in small towns, everyone knew the convenience store owner, the mechanic, the milk boy and the newspaper guy by name.
You said hello to them in the streets and asked about their families.
That dynamic is now on social media.
We all naturally don’t like a faceless business. Social media allows you to put “face” to the business and let folks know that the business is not run by robots and mechanized voice systems.
3)The costs can truly be a fraction of what you would otherwise spend on print media or TV
The cost to advertise on social media is unbelievably so low !
Dedicating a budget for as low as $50/ month can get you in front of the EXACT audience you are trying to reach.
Newspaper spreads and TV segments cost thousands and sadly most of the time simply do not have the same return on investment.
If you are already dedicating chunks of money to advertising on platforms other than social media, I urge you to try dedicating just a tenth of that to social media – particularly to Facebook ads.
You will be pleasantly surprised.
4) Customer service issues can be resolved and a brand built massively because of how it is handled on social
We’ve established that social media is a powerful way for you to showcase your business online.
It however is also an amazing tool for you to resolve customer service issues. It used to be that we would call customer service and complain if something was wrong with what we had purchased.
It is however not uncommon for people to take to social media these days to complain about what they are unhappy about. While I think a lot has to be said about all the rules of simple etiquette some of those complaints break, it is unwise for any business owner to ignore these complaints especially when they are out there in the open for everyone to see and especially now that it takes just an hour for things like that to go viral !
Instead of seeing such outbursts as an attack on your business, I think as a business owner you could turn it around and reply with a lot of grace and tact to resolve the issue (again, in front of ALL those people) and win some extra respect in the process.
5 ) A way for your brand to be discovered from afar
Just because you are a local business does not mean people cannot discover and admire you from afar.
We live in a global economy. People constantly travel and relocate. If you are a smart restaurant business for instance, you better be showcasing your best meals or sharing that time a celebrity came to your restaurant and you got a selfie with them !
Imagine that someone sees that selfie and they live in another country but are planning a vacation to your city. Guess whose food establishment they will be calling on when they arrive ?
So even if you are a local business, being on social media gives you a way to be discovered and possibly gain new customers before they ever move close to you.
6) Get the word out rapidly about services
Got a new service or product ? Social media is always an amazing way to spread the word about it.
And if you have built a loyal following, those people will happily share it for you simply because they LOVE your business. Free advertising !
We all like free, right ?
7) Social media is such a powerful listening tool
People buy solutions to their problems.
Take a look at everything you have in your home. Each and every item is solving a particular problem.
Similarly, your business exists to solve your customer’s problems. A great way to discover those problems in a way that makes them say “Yes, I have been looking for this everywhere” is to listen to what they are saying on social.
Listening to your audience includes listening to how they articulate their problems (so you can use that language in your advertising) and will prevent you from developing products and services nobody wants.
8) Social media is intertwined with SEO
I was not going to leave this one out !
A healthy social media presence can affect your search engine rankings in a positive way.
Here’s a scenario of what I mean.
- You produce a truly epic piece of content – blog post or video.
- People discover this content as you share it and use a predetermined social media strategy.
- People click through the links on social media and discover that the content really is GOOD !
- They share it to their own favorite social networks.
- The next time these people are creating their own content, they remember how epic your blog post was and so they link to it in their content. Eventually the backlinks add up and assumably if they are all reputable sites, you can rank in search engines for particular keywords/key phrases.
- Rinse & repeat and that mixture of social signals, traffic and backlinks could really put you in a great SEO position.
Social Media should no longer be an afterthought for your business. In fact, if you treat it as seriously as you treat traditional advertising avenues, I have no doubt you will reap the sweet fruit of your labor.