Everyone knows to some extent that social media ought to be a part of any marketing strategy, but many people think that it doesn't apply to them, or that they're doing so well they don't necessarily need to engage in it. This is really a risky way of thinking. Why are companies content to merely plug along rather than striving to exceed expectations? Is it a time management problem? A problem surrounding the hows and whys of reaching their unique target niche?
Some seem to think that only start-ups and small businesses (or huge brands) can benefit substantially from active engagement in social media. Having a social media presence helps define your brand where more people than ever before can learn about you and engage. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, it's important to look at the rationale behind the necessity of having a social media presence.
For B2B Companies:
Business-to-business companies are usually the ones that abandon social media altogether. You're a large company, and you sell janitorial products. Why would anyone pay attention to you on social media? Scratch that out of your mind completely! You have to think of social media as a huge trade show. Like a trade show, businesses on social media are networking, talking about other businesses, and sharing information with each other. Your janitorial products may seem difficult to differentiate, but when you enter this digital world and begin talking to other companies, you'll find that most businesses need janitorial products and that they are selective about who they do business with.
Your job is to stand above the crowd with an amazing customer experience. You can, in part, demonstrate that through social media marketing. Studies show that after just three months, businesses using inbound services get an average of 32% more leads per month. That's a massive potential sales increase! In this day and age, buyers are making decisions on whether or not to buy from you before they've even given you a call. The best thing you can do is run a content and social media marketing campaign and spread the word. For many companies, social media brings in a huge volume of inbound leads. No matter the size of your business or what you do, a social media campaign can change your life. In some cases, it may bring in more inbound leads than you even know what to do with.
For B2C Companies:
Business-to-consumer companies are well known for using social media, but even they are not doing as much with it as they can. In B2C, social media is all about reaching current, previous, and potential customers. Such companies use social media for branding and sharing relevant content.
For example, you sell hats in a downtown shop. Well, there are at least four other hat shops within a three-mile radius. How are you going to get prospects to visit you and promote your product instead of your competitors? Use your social media profiles to tell your story. Share your company culture. Make it known that you and your business alone will answer messages and reviews in a prompt manner.
For many consumers, reviews make a world of difference and are able to make or break your business. You can use social media to create evangelists for your business. Happy customers are your best advocates, and you can encourage user-generated content through social media to prove that what everyone is saying is true. Social media is a great way to provide social proof, which is the psychological phenomenon where people assume things about your business and learn from the experiences of others. B2C companies also have to take extra care to have a voice that resonates with people. You absolutely have to be human.
Stick with it!
Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of trial and error involved with social media and content marketing, and if your world is already crazy and busy, it can really add to your stress. Social media success isn't something that just happens overnight. You have to create a plan and stick to it. It also requires a lot of time, patience and research (also known as blood, sweat, and tears). You can expect to spend at least an hour a day looking over your social profiles and making sure you're reaching the right people and that your voice is being heard. Don't lose your focus! Remember that social media marketing will pay off in a short while if you hold steadfast and show your worth.
If you're having trouble defining your niche or coming up with a social media or content marketing plan, we can help. At our inbound marketing agency in Colorado Springs, we have the time to help you discover your goals and create a beautiful marketing plan to achieve those goals. We can help you take advantage of social media to increase your sales leads and brand recognition in a way that satisfies both you and your customers. We’d love to help you do a more complete assessment of your target audience.