Small businesses are still wondering why social media marketing matters. Whether your company is B2B or B2C, you can and will benefit from social media to help drive your sales and marketing efforts.
My theory is that once small businesses understand the impact that social media can have on their target audience, their current customers, and the future of their brand, they will soon wonder how they lived without it.
At The Social Campfire, it’s my job to not only create and take responsibility for small business social media marketing efforts, but it’s also my duty to explain to entrepreneurs and business owners how they can tangibly benefit from platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
In today’s post, I’d like to share 10 of the biggest reasons why Social Media Marketing is essential for today’s small business online marketing strategy:
1. Establish Trust
You probably haven’t even thought about it when it comes to your business, but when was the last time you held in high esteem a company that couldn’t be found online? Sure, it happens in rare cases – perhaps there’s an amazing, treasure trove Thai spice and grocery store down the street or an eclectic used book store owned by some of the nicest people in the neighborhood. They don’t have a website, and you still love their business. However, more often than not, a presence online is very similar to a nice, clean physical store window.
Moreover, your website, your social media platforms, and your email marketing campaigns help establish trust by controlling and advancing the message that you’d like your clients and leads to receive. Providing a consistent, accessible, trustworthy message about your brand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, can help establish trust in the short term and long term.
Every seasoned online marketing professional knows that your potential customers may visit your website or social media profiles several times before they’re ready to choose your brand and make the transaction on your goods and services. Help your target audience put trust in you by letting them know exactly who you are and what your company stands for.
2. Increase Brand Recognition
The more your company name and story is seen, the better, right? That’s why one of the oldest marketing principles of all time still applies in the online marketing world – be seen as much as you can.
With a quality website and blog strategy, combined with the force-multiplier that social media platforms provide, your brand name will be seen more and more – which keeps you at the forefront of your target audience’s minds.
Capitalize on repetition by adding online marketing strategies to your current brick and mortar or print marketing strategy.
3. Grow a Long-Term Audience
If you can develop relevant, engaging content, you will grow a long-term audience online, thus increasing your potential client base. Provide informational and entertaining blogs, inspiring curated articles, and provide resources to your online community of interest so you’ll eventually become indispensable.
4. Develop a Brand Voice
Developing a brand voice increases the chances that your target audience will develop a relationship with your brand. Think of Starbucks or Disney, for instance. The reason why they are so successful is they’ve been able to build an emotional relationship with their fans that transcends time and even economics. A solid content marketing plan helps develop your brand voice, so that your clients will return to do business with you.
5. Reach People with a Real Interest in Your Brand
Have you ever done a mass marketing mail campaign? How successful was it? Do you know what your ROI (Return on Investment) was? It was likely pretty low, which is common with such a spread-too-thin marketing campaign.
Modern marketing doesn’t work that way, and small businesses don’t have the luxury of fishing through thousands of people in the hopes that one or two prospects will come along. Utilizing hashtags on social media and relevant long-tail and short-tail keywords in your content ensures that the right people are going to find your brand. It’s targeted marketing on a never-seen-before scale. What’s more, affordable pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are at your fingertips, providing you with some of the most targeting advertising that’s ever existed.
6. Increased Website Traffic
Post links from your website to social media, including site pages and blog posts, in order to drive more traffic to your company’s hub, your website. In essence, your social networking profiles help get the word out that your website is on the Internet – to implore your potential clients to learn more about you.
7. It’s Cheaper
There’s no debate about it – social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools today. Most social networking sites are absolutely free – you can set up a LinkedIn Company Page, Facebook Company Page, or Google+ profile for no cost at all. Update your content for free, be seen easier on the Internet for free – only pay for certain platform upgrades, PPC campaigns, marketing assistants, etc.
8. You Can Identify Your Target Audience
Don’t even know who your target audience is, or should be? No problem. Social media can help you with that, too. In a space of millions upon millions of users, social media is a great place to test your brand concepts and ideas. Perhaps you never thought that your kitchen tools would be really popular with males over 40, or maybe you learn that Facebook is a really popular space for your current customers to discuss your products. Social media sites can give you an ear to the market Internationally and locally, which is very helpful for startups and brands looking to take a different direction.
9. You Can Track Your Results
Social media marketing is measurable, too. Unlike personal social media use, social marketing is an art and a science, and professionals like the staff at The Social Campfire use the latest, cutting-edge analytics and measurement tools to ensure that you’re getting real results out of your social media marketing.
10. It Can Be Incorporated with Traditional Media
We don’t want you to throw out the traditional marketing tools that have worked for your company all these years – in fact, social media can supplement traditional media. Having a face-to-face event? Publicize it on your Facebook Page or Twitter feed. Are you sending brochures about a new product to your current clients? Add your social media icons to the back bottom page of your brochure to ensure that your customers will check you out online, too.
We want you to capitalize on these reasons why social media marketing is so crucial for small business today. Contact us when you get a chance, and let’s talk about incorporating these affordable strategies into your marketing plan.