Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay. Despite this, there are businesses out there who remain firmly in the past, with a basic website and little else. Perhaps they already have a loyal customer base and consider social media will take up too much time and effort. Whatever the reason as the downturn continues, the question isn't, can you afford to embrace social media,? it's can you afford not to?
Effective use of Social Media is not going to make your business an overnight success, but it will increase your exposure to potential customers, increase traffic to your website and improve your ranking in search engines.
It is here to stay
Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay. The growth is relentless and will change the way all of us communicate in the future. Even if your existing customers aren't digitally connected, you can be certain that your future ones will be. The media is using it and so are your competitors and if you think social media is just for the young, think again. According to the Telegraph, people aged 55 - 64 are driving Facebook and Twitter growth.
You do have time
Time is precious, particularly when you're running around like a headless chicken trying to manage a new business, it can be hard to think about such 'trivialities as tweeting. Sharing your news, however, need not be time consuming. Start with a daily tweet. You can do this from your mobile on the way to work, even in the bath, whenever you have a spare five minutes. Comment on a news story or an event and try to make it relevant to your business.
Leave the hard sell for the sales team
The first rule of social media is no hard sell. You customers don't want to see endless feeds boasting about your latest product. Approach social media as you would a conversation at a trade show or other networking event and give potential customers a reason to engage. Don't just randomly follow people on Twitter, in the hope they will follow you back. People love to give feedback and opinions so ask them what they think. Don't be afraid to 'like' pages of brands you admire, to spark a few ideas.
It's cluttered out there
Nowadays, it's not enough to have an 'all singing, all dancing' website. With so many sites competing for band width, you need to make sure your site is easy to find. You could hire a marketing consultancy to implement an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Campaign, or try to optimize the site yourself. This can be done by creating winning content, with a regularly updated blog which contains keywords your customers will be searching for.
Bringing a business into the 21st century can be a daunting prospect for many organisations and many rely on traditional marketing techniques to build a customer base. Word of mouth remains the number one marketing tool and your business can reap the most benefits by encouraging online discussion. Although traditional techniques still have their place, people are more likely to take their recommendations from peers, rather than advertising.
This blog is listed under Digital Media & Games Community