If you're running a business, social media might be the last thing you're worried about as you move through a daily checklist. Maybe you do steady business as is and don't see the need (consider yourself lucky). For the rest of us, social media can be the big difference between getting found and having your customer head over to a competitor.
Truth be told, every business that relies on attracting new customers can get a boost from having active social platforms. Though there are many reasons to consider having at least one or two social media accounts for your business, I'm focusing on four key points that should push even the most reluctant social adapter to reconsider.
The more your brand appears in front of people, the more likely it is they will remember you when the need arises. The entire goal of advertising is to raise awareness. Think of all the times you've heard of a new product or saw a new commercial. At first, maybe it's one time and barely registers. But after several viewings, you know the brand, the product and maybe even the jingle - if there is one. The message is reinforced through visibility and repetition, and social helps spread that message.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Traditional SEO has been applied to help sites improve their ranking in search results. It's a bit more complicated than that summary might indicate, but for simplicity's sake, that's the heart of it. Social media, however, has brought in additional opportunities for a brand to show up in search results. Plus, many social media platforms have their own internal search features and are seeking to become the way most people discover content.
Paid Media Opportunities
Since social media networks are free to use, they have to get their revenue from somewhere. And given the vast amount of customer information they have access to, it's no surprise they targeted advertising as the way to do it. You may not like the idea of having to pay to reach audiences you built on a free platform, but the pay-to-play approach has created incentive for developing some rather sophisticated advertising options. For example, Facebook allows you to target everything from location, to very detailed personal interests, ensuring your ad is showing up to the people most likely to already have an interest in something like your business.
Social media gives you an immediate insight into your customers. You can find out what they love about you (or what they don't), where you can make improvements, what your demographics really are, and rectify complaints before they become an issue - just to name a few. It also gives you a direct line of communication between you and your customers, so you can give them a good experience that doesn't stop after they've used your services or bought your product. People often stay loyal to those who make them feel valued.