Today has never been a more important time to solidify your business’ online presence, especially with the progression of Facebook algorithms constantly changing. Social media plays an ever-growing role in not only engaging in customer interaction, but also in building your overall online reputation.
Business owners are having a harder time these days adapting to Facebook’s newest algorithms, stating in their announcements that if companies want reach, they should pay for it. And while many companies are starting to utilize Facebook ads more, there are still numerous methods to gain user visibility that are either completely free or very-low cost. Here are some ways which you can use Facebook to gain more social proof and essentially grow your company: (more…)
There can be no denying that social networking is something that is growing – more internet users than ever are now using social media on a daily basis. When you consider the size of social media you would assume that businesses are on the mark when it comes to social media campaigns and keeping in touch with their customers via social networking, but sadly for many their efforts still do not cut the mustard.
A Few Social Media Stats
When asked, over 60% of people said they would be more likely to buy from a brand they follow on a social networking website.
Facebook is the biggest social media website – if you added up all of its users and put them in a country to live together, it would be the third largest country in the world.
Within 80 days of it being released 50m people were the owner of an iPad – it took nearly 40 years for the same number of people to own a radio.
On YouTube the equivalent of 500 years of videos are watched every single day!
These stats show that social networking and the internet is growing – which is reason enough for companies to get on board and get involved. However, not only are more customers getting involved in social media but they’re getting more comfortable with it.
Gone are the days when a customer would write you a letter if they were unhappy with your service, now you’re likely to get an angry tweet or a long letter on Facebook. Their anger and unhappiness is the same as it always was, but now everyone else gets to hear about it too! We all know that word of mouth travels fast – so you want to be on the mark and dealing with customer complaints on social media because otherwise you could quickly find the situation growing to one that is much more serious.
Did you know that fashion brand ASOS have more followers than David Cameron?
ASOS are a brand that is renowned for their social media efforts. If you see their Twitter you’ll notice that they always reply to customers promptly – often with fun and witty replies, which help to keep customers interested! They have a specific twitter account which is designed to deal with customer issues and problems and they’re always quick and efficient when it comes to dealing with any tweets that customers send.
The fact that a fashion brand has more followers than the UK’s Prime Minister is a pretty big deal. It goes to show that they are on the money when it comes to dealing with social media & that their hard work has paid off. With so many followers on one account, their influence on Twitter is massive!
Companies are Still Being Left Behind
While companies like ASOS are coming on leaps and bounds with their social networking there are still companies that are being left behind. The problem with this is that we live in a social media generation – people are used to being able to get in touch with companies immediately and expect quick replies, companies not doing this are doing themselves an injustice and will get left behind if they’re not careful.
Making Use of Different Social Media Platforms
Generally the two main social media websites are Facebook and Twitter, but that doesn’t mean they are all you should use! Instagram is growing at a rate of knots and more Snapchat messages (350 million WOW!) are sent daily than anything else. There are different social networking websites out there to make use of – Pinterest is good if you have a crafting business and LinkedIn is great for interacting with other business owners and getting on board with local people.
The Mistake Many Businesses Make
The biggest mistake you can make is trying to have all of your eggs in one basket. If you’re going to be on a social networking website then you need to do it well. One of the worst things you can do is start up a social media profile on a website, do a couple of updates and then never coming back to it. Just because you have forgotten that you have an Instagram account (for example) that doesn’t mean that your customers will have. It is far better for them not to find you on Instagram than them finding a profile you have left behind – because this will give them the impression that you do not care.
So to Conclude
So, we now know how massive social media is. The influence that social media has over people is huge and as a business, if you are not tapping into this then you are missing out massively! Instead you need to make sure that you are doing what you can to be involved in it – and not leaving your customers wondering why you do not care.
Moving forward you need to make sure you have a clean-up of social media accounts that you already have. If you tried a social media website and didn’t like it – find it again and delete the account. It is far better for your customers not to be able to find you on a website rather than finding a social media profile that has been made redundant.
You then need to think about the type of social network you want to be on and how you can get involved. Whether this is setting up a page on Facebook or getting involved in tweeting on Twitter you’ll find loads of ways to get involved and hints and tips on how to make the website work for you and your needs.
Communicating with your customers is key – so make sure that once you are on social networking websites you use this to reply to your customers and interact with them when you can – you’ll notice it makes a massive difference!
Klout recently unveiled the newest addition to its website that claims to measure “social influence”. Klout’s formula puts most of the weight on a user’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Then it measures that user’s social “Klout” based on a variety of factors such as how many “likes” a user’s posts get or how many retweets they receive. Basically, Klout considers you to have a high Klout score based on raw numbers, not on content.
Despite the vast and utter hugeness of Facebook, Twitter has a few more Fortune 500 companies on their platform instead of Facebook. The difference isn’t much and the circumstances behind the fact are unknown (not every company should be on Facebook or Twitter), but it still makes for an excellent tidbit that can be used by Twitter fanboys.
There is little doubt that social media has an impact on sales. Companies use it every day to generate leads, increase branding, and improve public perceptions. As a marketing tool at the company level, few would contest the potential. What about at the salesperson level?
Many of the most successful marketing campaigns of the last couple of years have been entirely focused on social media. As the masses flock to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, some businesses are starting to put nearly all of their eggs in the social media basket. As dangerous as it may sound, this is actually a good idea for some businesses. The ROI for many verticals is much higher through social than any other form of marketing.
There are three camps into which every company in the world falls:
Those who don’t know or don’t care about social media
Those who care about social media and think it can be useful
Those who think social media can be the backbone of the company
If you were to break it down by percentages, the “Social Media is the Backbone” camp would most likely be the smallest. While business owners are starting to agree that social media has a place in their business, few would be willing to bet the farm on it. They are prudent, thoughtful, and wise.
Then again, many of them (depending on the type of company) would be incorrect.