Social media has fundamentally shifted the fabric of our social lives. Whereas, even a few years ago, it was seen as little more than a welcome distraction, today it is used by 42% of the global population, with 68% of US adults alone reportedly having a Facebook account and the average person spending a staggering 2 hours and 22 minutes on average perusing their social media accounts.
For small businesses, this represents an incredible opportunity. Social media is largely free at the point of entry and a whopping 73% of marketers agree that utilising social media has positively affected their ROI. But why is it so powerful and why should your business be spending more resources making sure your social media presence is more dominant and impressive?
Social media allows for direct communication between brand and consumer. This not only makes your business seem more approachable and ‘human’ but can automate certain communications through the use of chatbots. Social media allows you the opportunity to be less formal with your customers and is also less frustrating to use than your typical call centre system. It’s also instantaneous and offers unique opportunities for real-time updates on everything from exclusive offers to new products and plenty more besides.
If a business doesn’t understand who its customers are then it is doomed to fail. Social media allows you to not only collect valuable data on your users but allows you to get to know your customers as human beings rather than statistics. The best of both worlds.
The more social media profiles your business has – the greater its online visibility. This is why it’s important to establish profiles on all of the major platforms and keep updating your profiles with relevant and unique content. For Facebook, for example, focus on competitions and promotions, whilst Instagram is all about the visuals. Twitter, meanwhile, is a way to quickly let your customers know what you’re up to. Every platform has its own benefits and quirks so make sure you’re using them all to your advantage. The more visible you are, the more powerful your brand awareness will be and the more loyal your customers will be as a result.
Whilst it’s still relatively new, social media advertising has grown exponentially in recent years, with Facebook Ads alone generating over $9 billion in revenue in 2017. Those numbers keep rising by the year as businesses realise the benefits – lower costs, targeted reach and real-time performance analysis.
Social media is a deceptively powerful SEO tool. Search engine optimisation is still an important aspect of any online businesses marketing strategy and social media is an affordable and powerful way of increasing your website ranking without resorting to underhanded tactics.
Retaining customers is much easier and less resource-heavy than clawing back lost customers or reigning in new ones. Social media offers a direct connection to your existing customers that allows you to satisfy their needs quickly and efficiently.
Of course, if you are going to be taking social media seriously, your small business is going to need reliable and high-performance connectivity. Managed wired network services from Redcentric are optimised to deliver the most secure and powerful connectivity on the market, so you’ll always be just a few clicks away from your customers.