Unlike other forms of marketing that require big budgets, social media marketing is accessible and affordable for all and gives small businesses the ability to compete on the same level playing field as their large business competitors.
But more importantly, consumers have come to expect a social media presence from those they do business with. It provides them with a channel of communication, as well as a mirror into the heart and soul of your organization. If you’re not there, you’re closing that door. But there are other doors you may be closing as well.
Years ago building awareness around your brand was much more difficult and expensive. You relied on PR or paid advertising and then held your breath in hopes your customer would actually be in the right place at the right time to see or hear you ad or story. But the internet and social media has changed that. Even if your customers are physically on campus in Tallahassee, FL, at home in Houston, TX, or working in downtown Philadelphia, PA, they’re hanging out on social media, and you can be right there with them building brand awareness and work on converting them into a paying customer.
In a 2013 Social Media Examiner survey, 43% stated that social media had in fact boosted sales. No doubt this is partly due to increased brand awareness, but also because social media makes it so easy to give and get referrals from trusted friends – often our first choice when it comes to making purchase decisions. If you’re there building trust and a good reputation, chances are you will be on the receiving end when it comes to sales.
Consumers would rather buy from someone they know, like and trust. Since social media gives you the opportunity to listen, engage, and personally connect with those consumers- if done right and not used as a platform to blast out continual sales pitches, social media is a powerful tool to build lasting, profitable customer trust and loyalty.
Social media gives your customers a simple way to voice their discontent. And while that may sound bad, it also gives you a direct connection with them so that you can listen in, speak back and transform a customer’s negative experience into a positive outcome for your business.
While we can’t say that getting a certain number of shares, likes and tweets guarantees your rank will go up, we can say that the more interactions you have, the better chance you will get more visitors to your website. And with more visitors comes a better chance to get backlinks which are still considered the number one way to rise up in search engine rank.