Patrick Osinski : startups advisor, all about Social Media, Marketing, Business Dev, SEO, Design, Digital content, Innovation, Apps.
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"You know you're on the right track when you become uninterested in looking back."
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Why Your Business Needs Social Media Marketing
Your company finally has its website, Facebook, and even a Twitter account set up. You are getting some traffic, you have a small following, and you've thrown up a few status updates and links.
Maybe your website or social media handles even show up in a Google search once in awhile. Check "Social Media Marketing" off that list of things to do. Mission accomplished. Wrong! Or maybe you still think that your business can't benefit from social media marketing at all? Wrong again!
It really doesn't matter if you are a sole proprietor or a CMO at a Fortune 500 global corporation. Your business can significantly benefit from social media marketing regardless of its size or business model. Why does social media marketing matter so much?
Well I'll tell you why! Here are just a few simplified reasons why your business will grow and improve with SMM:
1) Increase Website Traffic, SEO, Referrals, & Revenue Generation
This is pretty obvious. Your social media platforms promote your website links and the content you produce. You get more traffic to your site, your search engine rank improves (and in turn more organic traffic is generated), you get more referrals from readers / viewers / subscribers / followers / customers / clients / colleagues, and you make more money! Depending on your business model, your income may be generated from product / service sales, advertising revenue, sponsorships, contracts, partnerships, subscriptions, investors, donations, or other means. Simply put, increased quality and quantity of traffic derived from social media = more money. This can be true for all companies whether you sell muffins, clean houses, manage portfolios, or market the latest cloud computing software.
2) Interaction, Branding, and Exposure with Customers, Prospects, or Industries
Your business can always benefit from interacting with your customers, clients, readers, viewers, peers, prospects, or industry heavy hitters. Many people and organizations believe this to be the most important aspect of social media marketing. So establish a positive dialogue that will lead to signing a new client. Successfully promote a current client's business. Provide exceptional customer service by answering a question or addressing a concern. Tell the world about your latest campaign, product, or service. Let the customer tell you what they view as your strengths and weaknesses, or how you can improve your business. The possibilities are endless and you'll be missing opportunities if you don't have a strong social media marketing strategy in place. If you don't properly manage or expand your company's community and network, you are leaving money on the table.
3) Increased Perception of Being Connected, Tech Savvy, and Legitimate
A lot of people think this is more of a subjective or less important aspect of social media marketing. I think it's an incredibly important one if you consider basic human psychology. While business professionals can usually distinguish between quality and quantity of social media statistics, the average person may not. So who cares if your company doesn't have many followers, friends, subscribers, views, tweets, likes, posts etc? Turns out a lot of people DO care. If you are a billion dollar corporation and you have 200 Twitter followers, that obviously doesn't look very good. It looks especially poor when your competitors have 200,000 or maybe 2,000,000 followers.
Why does your company have 6 tweets when you do business on 6 continents?
Perhaps your business is nonexistent on critical social media platforms or your employees aren't representing your company online.
Or maybe there is little or no activity on any of your social media accounts. This can make your company seem out of touch, which can be especially damaging if your target market includes younger or more technologically proficient customers and industries. It certainly won't help you relate to millenials if you are a B2C company and have them as one of your main "buyer personas". I've seen technology, media, marketing, and online retail companies with minimal social media marketing presence! It's not pretty.
People and companies do look at numbers and make judgments based on them, fair or not. Having a minimal or nonexistent social media presence makes your company look bad and your competitors look better by comparison. You will lose revenue and market share if you don't successfully compete on all relevant social media platforms.
4) Return On Investment (ROI)
Social Media Marketing can have an excellent Return On Investment (ROI) compared with traditional forms of marketing such as mailers, radio ads, television ads, magazine / newspaper ads, billboards, etc.
You could easily spend hundreds or thousands (or significantly more depending on your business) of dollars on any of these traditional marketing methods.
If you are a sole proprietor or small business owner, that price tag can be a risky or completely impossible option.
Even a global corporation may be looking to tighten their marketing budget or get more value for their dollar (for example: Procter & Gamble this year opted for a frugal Twitter campaign as opposed to a multi-million dollar Superbowl ad). Social media marketing can be that viable affordable alternative, or a significant component, of your marketing strategy.
Not only will your social media platforms save you money in the short term, these platforms and SEO-boosting power remain in place to pay dividends months and even years with minimal maintenance.
And because it's digital, you can usually modify your social media marketing platforms or strategy as needed .
It is necessary these days to be able to adapt and make changes within a matter of days, hours, or even minutes. You could be spending a fortune on traditional advertising or marketing consultants when social media marketing could get the job done for a fraction of the price.
This is an enormous benefit that you receive from implementing social media marketing into your business strategy. You usually get minimal data in response to traditional marketing campaigns.
Sometimes you aren't sure whether your business is benefiting from one traditional method or another. With social media marketing, you can get incredibly detailed, immediate, and convenient statistical reports on nearly every aspect of your SMM campaigns.
You'll get key measurables such as impressions, clicks, comments, likes, shares, subscriptions, referring links, sales, time on site, detailed demographics, and much more. Analyze this data and modify your social media posts and ads accordingly to achieve even greater results.
You don't get that with a newspaper ad or television commercial. You can get these detailed SMM analytics from Google Analytics, CRM platforms, individual social media platforms directly, or other web services.
Finally, you can seamlessly integrate social media marketing into your overall marketing and business strategy.
Your social media marketing complements and/or links to your email marketing, website, direct mailers, telephone, print ads, and radio / television ads. You may notice these days that half of the ads out there already have links to the company's social media URL or solicit readers / listeners / viewers to follow them on social media.
Every email marketing campaign and website should be fully integrated with its SMM if it isn't already. And everything radio and television is already integrated or being integrated with online media. Magazines, newspapers, and newsletters are all online now as well. Complement your overall business marketing, sales, and customer service with social media savvy.
Of course there are dozens of other important reasons why social media marketing is important for your business success. I will continue posting more specific SMM articles so I can share my thoughts and experiences with specific social media platforms, paid advertising options, specific industries, and various business models.