Does social media marketing work?

Social Media CAN be a very (if not the most) effective platform to market a small business. It's a place where unique opportunities to connect with people on a personal level and target SPECIFIC audiences are at your fingertips. There are a lot of businesses on Social Media, but many of them are simply "doing" social media.

That might create more noise to break through, but it also allows a business The ability to specifically target and connect with customers closes the gap between small businesses and major corporations that have massive marketing teams and advertising budgets. The ability to direct your message and interact with people who are already interested in or very likely to give you their money?

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Like every other aspect of your business, success doesn't come without commitment. It's not a billboard, it's not a television commercial, and it's not an ad tucked into the Sunday Paper. Social Media Marketing has its own rules, and doing it well takes a lot of time, a lot of work, and it must be done consistently. With the right approach and commitment, Social Media can be a game changer for a small business. People spend countless hours on Social Media because we are social creatures, it's a place for interaction. Social Media platforms are the social clubs of the past, but instead of 1 specific group getting together on the 3rd Sunday of the month, these clubs are open to everyone, anywhere, 24 hours a day. That is why you can keep your brand on the top of so many potential customers' radar.

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Reach, Exposure and Brand Awareness

Reach & Exposure

Facebook alone has 2.37 billion monthly active users, over 1.5 billion who log in every single day. The sheer volume of people on the social platforms offers potential customer reach that cannot be matched by any other avenue. Not only does this give even the smallest local businesses the chance to go global, it provides a medium to reach more of their local customers faster and more effectively than ever.

By implementing an effective strategy, and staying consistent with your Social Media Efforts you can put yourself in front of more of the people who fit into a profile of your most likely potential customers. Again, your Social Media pages are so much more than a billboard.

Brand Awareness

Successful Marketers realized the power of brand and image a long time ago. Brand Awareness and image are powerful tools because they can connect a product directly to the desires of their audience. Companies like Nike have spent billions of dollars doing it. With Social, you can craft your brand in real time, and cater it to your customers. You have the ability to create and control the public image of your business.

Customer Service is the key to customer loyalty

Customer service is an integral aspect of running your business, and like most entrepreneurs, it's probably something that you take very seriously, but struggle with the time (and timing) involved. Using Social Media to provide customer service lets you help customers and attract sales, you can interact with and help people from anywhere, at any time. Making it EASIER for the CUSTOMER to get issues resolved and questions answered in a public space where everyone can see that you care about your customers has a huge impact on your image as a business. When you are responsive to questions or comments on your page, you aren't just getting one happy person, you get the added benefit of showing off your great service to everyone who "passes by" or checks out your page. Testimonials and reviews do have value, but this is real life interaction that people can witness. Those interactions leave lasting impressions.

It MUST be Consistent. For the same reasons that you are able to create and leave a lasting good impression on people who aren't customers yet, a lack of interaction, or inappropriate interaction will also leave a lasting impression, but probably not the one you're looking for. If a customer asks a question about a price on your facebook post, and you respond 3 days later, the first likely result is that customer already found what they needed somewhere else. The second, farther reaching result, is every other person who sees that you responded to a simple customer question 3 days later has already formed an opinion of your business. These are potential customers who have never interacted with you. This is another one of those points where being on social media, without following through can do more harm than good.Below you'll find a few key points about consumers' expectations for customer service on Social Media.

Insights, Targeting and Opportunity

Facebook reports that there are over 60 Million small businesses using the platform to reach customers, but as of the 3rd quarter of 2019 there were only 7 million active advertisers. That's a busy place, with a lot of noise. Take a look below at the sheer volume of comments, status updates and photos posted to Facebook roughly every minute.

It's a lot, but you can do more than you think. According to Facebook, of the 60+Million businesses on the platform, almost 90% of them aren't using paid ads. When you're marketing on social, as opposed to more traditional methods, you have a unique opportunity to see how effective your efforts are in real-time. You can gather information about your most likely customers, and "listen" to what's trending online. Then you can use everything you learn to refine your approach, define your audience, and then deliver the right message to the right people. With everything that's available even the smallest ad budgets can make a very big impact.

This is not a suggestion to abandon page management, regular posting and interaction, those actions are what allow you to find and build the perfect audience to advertise to. Still, getting in front of new customers organically can be a very slow process. While some businesses might have been able to report posts reaching 15% of their followers in 2012, that reach has declined significantly. As of early 2020 most reports are seeing posts that only reach 1-2% of followers. Just like a lot of great small companies, even the best content occasionally needs a little help to get noticed. Traffic and other content accompanied by regular algorithm updates all create obstacles for a business to push through to get attention. Paid ads and boosted posts are extremely effective ways to rise to the top of feeds.

What's Next?

So you know you can expand your reach and awareness. You can see that Social Media gives you a unique ability to mold your brand, and use it to target more customers in more effective ways. Customer Service has been revolutionized for small business owners who provide it through social media channels, and focusing your advertising efforts directly towards specific audiences based on real evidence is something a small business owner just 10 or 15 years ago couldn't imagine. So where do you begin?

If you are ready to tackle the future of marketing, check out some of the other posts under resources on our page. They are designed to give you a general understanding of what it takes to market on social media effectively, and we highly recommend looking into some of the many tools available to make it easier for you. The Plans/Pricing tab on our site offers some flexible, affordable options depending on how much time and effort you are able to commit to your Social Media strategy. Like always, feel free to Contact Us using the link above for any of your Social Media needs or questions. We're here to help you succeed!