Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn…
You’ve heard these (ridiculous) words over and over again during your marketing meetings – heck, you may even have a personal account in one of these social networks – but that doesn’t mean you know why you should utilize these bad boys for your business. Let me lay it out on the table for you. Below are the top five reasons your company should be using social media.
5. Ignorance is not bliss.
People are talking about your company behind your back.
You reply: “Gasp! What?! How could that be? We’re so nice!”
Well guess what sister, most people don’t give a rip about your business – your customers owe you nothing. The fact of the matter is people are complimenting and complaining about your business on all of the aforementioned social media networks. Good or bad, your business should be there to either thank them for their compliments or be there to rectify the situation when the you-know-what hits the fan. Ahem, @BPGlobalPR.
As opposed to having a super peeved customer groaning about your business on Facebook for all his 500 friends to see, and then having those friends either “Like” or comment about his bitchfest, which could in turn spread the complaint virally across the nearly 500 million registered Facebook users – you could, rather, rectify the situation before it turns into wildfire. By having a presence in social media networks and addressing the issue at hand directly with the person, this not only makes you aware of the situation but it may very well save you a customer.
Loyal customers are hard to come by and if you have them you should consider yourself and your business very lucky. Make regular customers loyal, and your loyal customers evangelists.
4. Get feedback.
OK, so we learned the importance of being proactive in social media networks when it comes to learning about how your business is perceived. Now it’s time to understand that utilizing social media will help generate useful feedback. I completely agree with Robert Scoble in that you should never let your customers run your business:
“My former boss, Jim Fawcette, used to say that if you asked a group of Porsche owners what they wanted they’d tell you things like ‘smoother ride, more trunk space, more leg room, etc.’ He’d then say ‘well, they just designed a Volvo.'”
However, good feedback can be priceless. Just ask @comcastcares.
3. Humanizing your business.
A business’s personality should branch beyond the company logo. Fortunately, social media allows for companies to consistently showcase the people behind the brand. Take advantage of it. People will respect your business more.
@Starbucks actually designates some chap named Brad to handle all its Twitter marketing. That way, Starbucks’ Twitter followers know they are communicating with an actual person – in this case Brad.
Those human communications help prove to your customers that your company isn’t just an office building or a pretty website; your company is run by people. That human element further connects your customers to who you are as a company, which in turn creates more trusting and loyal customers.
2. Money in the bank.
You may have heard many social media evangelists, gurus, ninjas or whatever noun is the hot new qualifier, say that social media is all about engagement – not sales. I beg to differ. Any business owner will tell you that at the end of the day, it’s about the bottom line. It’s always about the bottom line.
That’s not to say that engagement isn’t important. It’s an extremely important aspect of social media. But that doesn’t mean sales shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Currently, it is more difficult to track sales referred from social media as opposed to SEO or PPC. However, as social media tools continue to become more advanced each day, it is becoming easier to track not only sales, but other important metrics within your social media profiles.
Your mother probably told you that honesty is the best policy. And she was right. People are totally over BS and you can blame social media for it. Like it or not, social media has forever changed the way we interact. That means you – as a business owner or marketing professional – need to be part of that transparent interaction.
What do you think of these top 5 reasons? Did we miss any? Share your thoughts in our comments section.