A few years ago, businesses began hearing the social media hype. Common knowledge said that businesses not on social media would be left behind, so your business got on Facebook and Twitter and you expected sales to go through the roof, but nothing changed. Sales didn’t increase one bit. Were you expecting too much from social media? Was the hype just a marketing scheme created by Mark Zuckerberg? The answers are probably Yes and No, respectively.
Social media is a tool for your business, and as any do-it-yourselfer will tell you, just owning a tool doesn’t do much. You have to know the correct way to use it, what its capabilities are, and what its limitation are. Such is the case with social media.
How Social Media Can Help
Social media can do a lot for your brand. It can help your company:
Gain information about your customers – Each day, there are 500 million Tweets, 1.37 billion daily active users on Facebook, and 95 million photos and videos posted to Instagram. Those numbers represent a wealth of information about your customers. Engage your customers through social media, and discover what your brand is doing right, what it’s doing wrong, and what it could do better.
Increase brand loyalty – Because social media allows you to run targeted ads, provide customer support, and build personal relationships with customers, 53% of Americans who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those brands.
Expand your reach – Your brand has exposure across the globe. You may not have thought about cultivating a market in Nairobi, but it’s as easy to reach new customers in Kenya as it is to reach them in San Diego. The business paradigm has shifted so that even start-up companies can reach customers a world away.
Whether you take advantage of all social media can do depends on your goals and resources. With time and the right strategies, your once local brand can go international and create enviable customer loyalty.
Limitations of Social Media
If, however, you’re disappointed in your social media presence, perhaps you expected too much. Here are some things social media can’t accomplish:
Social media doesn’t guarantee sales – Many companies forget that “social” is 50% of the name. The first thing that every company should do on social media is to build relationships with customers. Sales will come after you create brand loyalty through positive customer interaction.
Social media won’t improve your image – Customers won’t like you just because you have a Facebook page. If you have customer service issues, they’ll only get worse on social media. If you’re looking to transform your image, it’s going to take considerable time, work, and may require a full-time person dedicated to addressing and responding to customers’ online issues.
Social media won’t do anything on its own – As stated at the beginning, social media is a tool. You can’t build a house with just a hammer, and you can’t build your business relying solely on social media. You have to have a good product, responsive customer service, relevant content, a good understanding of analytics, and constant management of your social media sites.
If you’ve been disappointed in how social media has contributed to your business, or don’t have the resources to get the most out of social media, call the experts at McFadden/Gavender and let us help get your social media accounts working for you.