As a business owner, you’re constantly trying to make the best use of your time. However there are some things we know we should be doing, but just don’t seem worth our time.
Social media is one of those things. It seems time consuming, a lot of hard work to make it work, and it just doesn’t seem like there’s a guaranteed return on investment. Or so you thought…
When used correctly, social media can be a powerful tool to find new audiences, build a loyal customer base, and showcase yourself as an industry leader.
Don’t believe us? In today’s blog, I will break down 5 reasons why your small business should be using social media.
Imagine having a following of loyal customers, who feel part of a community rather than just following a brand name. Businesses who direct their focus towards building a community, around what they do, are more likely to gain customers attention when posting.
Why do people follow you? What reason are you giving people to come back every time you post? Nobody likes being bombarded with sales promotions every time they log in. People want content that either entertains or informs them.
One brand that really stands out for building a community is Red Bull.
Sure, they’re a massive company and have a huge budget to spend on creating engaging content. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them, even as a small business.
If you visit one of Red Bull’s social accounts, you’ll notice they love posting exciting videos and shots from different actions sports. The screenshot below shows a video of some extreme dinghy racing.
Now take a look at those views, shares and engagements… People love it! Over time Red Bull has continued to post entertaining and engaging content that resonates with a select group of people. They’ve built a community around the love for action sports and exhilarating entertainment.
Tying back to your business, social media can help you build a community. If you’re posting content that people want to keep coming back for, and that serves a specific audience of people, you’ve got the start of a community. Moreover, when people aren’t just engaging with your content, but keep coming back for more, they’re more likely to respond when you do make sales offers or promote your business.
A lot of businesses fear the rise of online review sites, such as Tripadvisor, Yelp and even the reviews section on your Facebook business page. However, it doesn’t need to feel like a minefield out there.
A huge part of social media is providing customer service and dealing with queries, which people have about your business. Just because there is a negative comment, it doesn’t mean you need to sound the alarms.
Use it as an opportunity to show your brand’s integrity. How your business deals with a complaint often says more about your brand than what actually occurred. Especially if that review is plastered across the internet, you should focus on making yourself look good, when fixing up customer problems.
Let’s look at it from a different perspective now. How do you think the customer will feel? Especially if you are genuine and take the time to fix their concern, without being rude or trying to blame them? They will feel appreciated!
It isn’t just about dealing with customer problems either. Social media allows you to reach out to your loyal customers individually and show them they’re appreciated. Send a free gift to someone, who took time to take and share a photo of themselves using your product. Reply to comments from people raving about your service. It all adds up, and it all builds stronger relationships with your customers.
Want to be the person or company that everyone looks to, as the leader in your industry? Who doesn’t?!
Social media can help you become the authority in your industry, by reaching people with informative knowledge about your niche.
Here in Australia, we have a well known hardware company called Bunnings Warehouse. Apart from their sausage sizzles and slashing prices by 10%, Bunnings has done a powerful job at establishing themselves as the go-to for DIY and hardware.
They’re not leaving anything to chance either, in the world of social media. They’ve made sure to continue providing informative content, to remain in our minds as the authority within their industry.
For example, Bunnings currently has 494 videos on YouTube, with everything from renovating your laundry to creating a garden cottage.
Bunnings understands that if you want to be the go-to business for people, you need to be seen as the expert.
Take a page from Bunnings’ book on social media, and start providing valuable gems of information to your audience. With each piece of content, whether it’s a how-to video, a deep dive on a podcast, or just a simple infographic, you’ll slowly build up trust with your audience.
What are people always asking about your industry? What can you teach them that would truly help them, not just to make a purchase with you, but to achieve their overall goal?
Each piece of informative content, that genuinely helps your audience achieve their goals, helps solidify that you know what you’re talking about.
Start posting short tips, tutorials, live demonstrations, interviews with other industry leaders, informative blog posts and more.
Let’s talk about the financial costs of social media. If you still can’t see why you need to be using social media, let’s talk about costs.
How much are ads on your local TV station, radio station or newspapers and magazines costing you? Better yet, ask yourself what the actual return is on those ads?
Now let’s compare that to your social media efforts. Firstly, the majority of platforms that your business should be on are free. There’s almost no reason why you shouldn’t be signing up and creating a business page today.
Secondly, the ads that you can run on these platforms provide extremely detailed targeting features. Sure, a local ad can get the word out about your business around town… but I’m sure your whole city isn’t your ideal customer.
Ad platforms for sites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter all have the ability to zero in on customers, who match certain interests, certain geographical locations, certain age groups or genders, and more.
The other benefit to this is that you can actually see the return you’re getting. You can tell if an ad is working or not, in real time, and tweak the ad as you please until it works.
However, let’s not skip over the down sides either. Social media still involves an investment of time, and this is time that’s being taken away from other important activities for your business.
I’m not suggesting that you drop everything and jump on social media right this second. What I’m saying is that your business should be factoring in some time, during your working week, to start creating content.
Start posting on social media and being active with your business. Join in discussions, comment on local community events, and show that there are real people who are running your business, with real lives and personalities.
This leads us into the final reason you should be using social media as a small business.
Why do people love little, local cafes that remember their order and use local brands? It’s because some small businesses go the extra mile, to stand out when competing against big brands.
As a small business, you likely don’t have the marketing budget of Red Bull or Bunnings. However, what you do have is the human element. You have a real voice in your community and can showcase that within your city.
Social media can remind your customers that there are real people working at your business. You can talk about someone’s birthday in your office, a big upcoming event, or give a behind-the-scenes shot of what you’re working on.
As humans, we love interacting with people we get along with. The same applies to business. We like doing business with people who we can relate to and who we trust.
Join in on some discussions that are related to your local community. What events are happening that you can get involved with or attend? Get involved, get personal and add a human touch, by showcasing it on social media.