The introduction of social media has made a huge impact in the way people are connected online and sharing content every day. It is hard to believe but some businesses are still slow to embrace social media for marketing and brand building purposes.
These businesses cling to outmoded methods of marketing without taking into account just how influential and far reaching social media has become for consumers in B2C and B2B. In case you are not yet fully on board with social media, here are compelling reasons why not using it can harm your business:
People do not know your business
Let’s assume you do things right and you have built a small but loyal customer base. Would it not help to let more people know about your satisfied customers? On social media, businesses routinely share customer testimonials with their followers, while customers are happy to share their buying experience all on their own.
You are unaware of what customers are saying about you
Whether you like it or not, unhappy customers with your product or service would not hesitate to share their experiences on Facebook and other platforms. Without a social media presence, how can you monitor negative reviews or attempt to answer them and demonstrate a policy of responsiveness?
You lack a method for engaging with your target audience
Social media is interactive. Small businesses build communities around their brands and instil customer loyalty. Engagement may include sharing product updates, conducting customer surveys, sponsoring contests, etc. A small business that lacks a social media presence must work much harder to engage its customer base.
Traditional advertising is more expensive than marketing on social media
Not only does creating and distributing advertisements add up to significant costs, the level of customer trust in traditional advertising is fairly low. Start-ups in particular enjoy a much higher success rate using social media to promote their products or services.
It is harder to build a reputation as a thought leader
It is likely you are an expert in your particular field of business. But without a social media presence, who will ever know? Small businesses regularly create and promote content of value to their followers, in the process building a reputation as an industry thought leader, which adds credibility when they reach out to prospective customers.
You cannot easily spread the word about new products or services
Businesses use Facebook, Twitter and other channels to launch a new product or announce a major upgrade. Customers are sometimes invited via social media to “test-drive” the new product and offer helpful feedback. This kind of customer input increases the odds of a successful launch or upgrade, because a business knows in advance what works and what does not work with their target audiences.
You are less likely to know what your competitors are up to
Never assume that just because you do not have a social media presence, the competition is abstaining as well. They are not. Monitoring the social media activity of competitors enables you to stay informed about their marketing efforts and who their customers are, information that could prove essential for your own marketing campaigns.
Harder to recruit quality employees
Businesses use social media as an active employee-recruitment tool and job candidates do the same when it comes to checking out potential employers. Having a vibrant online presence not just your business website makes your company more attractive to talented candidates, the very individuals you most want to apply for your open positions.
In a crisis, the lack of a social media presence can be devastating
Sooner or later, almost every business experiences some type of public relations or product related crisis. Companies that successfully ‘bounce back’ usually integrate crisis management with social media in the planning stages. They use Twitter and other channels to beat back unfounded rumours and speculation, while ensuring a continuous flow of customer friendly information. A business with no social media presence can be badly harmed by a tsunami of angry voices online.