So first, what is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing is defined as using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Google+, etc to build traffic to your website through engaging with customers. This form of marketing is becoming more and more important for small business to implement and take advantage of.
- Facebook users have 254 friends on average
- Twitter users have 126 followers on average
- LinkedIN users have 141 connections on average
The numbers above may not seem like a lot of exposure potential. Let’s take a look at what is possible. Say a business is using social media marketing and they have the average number of followers listed above. Your business would be delivering your message to a minimum of 521 people in your immediate network. That isn’t too shabby for a few minutes worth of work – But what if your immediate network also had the average number of followers and your message was so compelling that 10% of them re-posted your message. How many people would that be? Let’s again assume that their immediate network has the average number of followers (521). So 10% of your original followers list post out to their followers, that’s 52.1 (10% of 512) x 521 = 27,144.1 people or potential customers. So you can see how your message can become VIRAL. What about if those potential customers liked the message which was posted by the person they followed, think about if they shared the message as well.
In the example above 10% is a pretty high estimate, but even if it were just 1% of your followers posted your message, the possible reach your message could have. Social Media Marketing as the potential to reach a larger group of people than TV, Radio, Print put together if its used effectively. Now you’re seeing the importance of this valuable tool.
Other Perks to Using Social Media Marketing:
- Brand Exposure
- Social Media Networks are a great way for a business to share their brand with their followers. Create unique and informative posts about your business or tips associated with services/products your business provides. Create a funny video on YouTube as these types of videos tend to go viral.
- Increase Customer Loyalty and Trust
- Speak to your customers in a more personal way via social networks, it helps develop a trusting relationship. Speaking to them in this manner makes you feel more like a friend than a company.
- Leverage for Customer Service
- Use Social Media as a means to connect with what your customers are saying. React promptly and appropriate to any questions, concerns, issues, or feedback. Not only do you show that customer that you care about their experience, you also show everyone else monitoring your social network feed.
- Market New Products or Services
- Announce to your social networks any new product or service you may be offering. Include pictures or video so if your followers share your post, their followers see what you have to offer.
- Maintain Customer Engagement
- A good marketing plan brings customers through the door. A GREAT marketing plan does that as well as creates a relationship with that customer to where they’re referring your business as well as make them repeat customers. Most businesses stop selling once the customer makes the purchase. Social Media allows you to stay in front of your customers for weeks, months, years after that sale increasing the likelihood they’ll return to your business and/or refer you to people they know.
So What Does Social Media Marketing Cost?
What is the cost of leveraging this very important marketing tool. The cost is your time. There really isn’t any software to purchase, service to buy. Its as easy as setting up a profile on the various social media sites. Post frequently to keep followers engaged, but not too frequently to annoy and lose those followers. We personally like to follow the 80/20 rule. We post tips and tricks which we think small businesses will find useful for approx 80% of our posts. We use the other 20% to tell people of our products and services. If you follow this rule, you’ll quickly gain loyal followers who believe you are an authority of the type of product or service you offer, it gains trust and builds a great relationship. BUT….we know that time is money. Posting online can take time away from your normal everyday business responsibilities…. So what are your options?
- Post updates yourself
- Can be time intensive
- Takes focus off of other business needs
- Hire someone to post on behalf of your business
- Allows you to focus on your business
- Professionals know how to engage your customers to build loyalty
- Usually less expensive than you stopping your business to perform this action.