I remember about 5 years ago I posted my first vintage food photo on Instagram and I was so excited about it. Back then nobody knew what I was talking about when I tried to share my experience (I got 3 likes for my first photo, Wohoo Go me!).
Today, Social Media is everywhere and I’m surprised by how many people in particular small business owners still haven’t ever sent a tweet, set up a Facebook page or tried to communicate with their customers through other Social Media channels.
New Zealand is a small business driven country and with a population of approximately 4.5 million people “Word of Mouth” really goes a long way, ever heard of the saying : it’s about who you know rather than what you know? Yes! Well, let me explain how Social Media (when set up correctly) can help you, to get known by your target audience, increase your brand awareness, profitability and market presence.
1: Increased Brand Recognition.
Whenever the opportunity of representing your brand comes up it can increase the value of your brand. Social Media is a great way for your business to speak up and create a ‘feel’ around your brand. This is a great way to make your brand more accessible for new customers and re-inform existing customers about the value of your products and services.
Every opportunity you have to represent your content and increase your visibility is valuable. Your Social Media networks are just new channels for your brand’s voice to speak up. This is important because it makes you more familiar and recognisable for both new and existing customers alike.
2: Cost effective
Setting up most Social Media is free and with its massive reach it can be one of the most effective ways to promote your business without investing a ton of money. Each year business related costs can increase and one area where you can decrease expenses is in marketing. Surprised? I’m not talking about print advertisement or TV ads, but about developing a Digital Media strategy for marketing your business.
Even paid advertising through Facebook can be relatively cheap to test the waters (depending on your goals, of course). Start small and you are able to control your budget which allows you to gain an understanding and feel for what works for you, you can then increase your budget and increase your conversions correspondingly. You might be thinking I really don’t care what Amanda had for dinner or before and after make-up photos, but Social Media can be a huge cost-effective asset for your business. For many it is a part of our day to day life and I truly believe this is one of the best digital word of mouth marketing opportunities available today.
3: More Opportunities to Convert
Let’s be honest, we are all here to make a living and one of most businesses main goals is it to bring their products and services to their customers. Social Media, at its core, is a peer driven communication channel. Every post you make on a Social Media platform is an opportunity to engage new and existing customers and this is a brand conversion. When you build an audience you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every Post, Image or Video you share is the chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit and eventually a sales conversion or lead conversion. Social Media enables you to maximise opportunities which can convert into sales or leads. Social Media rocks!
4: Personalising Element
This must be one of my favourite reasons for using Social Media for your business. Social media allows you to really connect with your current and potential new customers at a personal level. In fact unlike traditional advertising Social media is more like PR. It enables you to create a mood and feel around your brand. The brand can become more humanised and relatable to your customers by keep interacting with them. Social Media allows you to continually control how your brand is being perceived.
The fact that you can make your brand more humanised and relatable to your customers is important because people like doing business with other people not with companies.
Social Media is here to stay, the sooner you start, the sooner you reap the benefits. Realistically, you don’t have anything to lose by getting involved in Social Media. It’s all about connecting with your customers and building long lasting relationships with them. I like to look at Social Media as a blank Canvas that you can use to create an exciting, informal and creative picture of your business concept to showcase to your customers; it is the personal touch that enables even the most ‘grey’ business to speak up and add some personal touch and colour around their brand and business concept.
The longer you wait, the more you have to lose. Social media, with the right strategy in place, can lead to more customers, moreover more satisfied customers and finally more conversions.