A recent survey by Social Media Examiner found most marketing folks (83%) agree social media is a must for success — that it’s an important element for growing your business and improving ROI. Thus, driving performance with social media creates success.
The report talked about what these professionals are doing on social media to support business performance but really didn’t ask them why social media is so important for their success.
1. Build Community
Remember Cheers – where everyone knows your name. People love the personalized attention and a sense of belonging in a place like Cheers.
Services businesses have long received major benefits from building a strong one on one relationships with customers. And any good salesperson will tell you that building a relationship with clients is critical to selling them. But, CPG companies — firms like P&G, Kimberly Clark, and Nestle — couldn’t create relationships with customers because they didn’t have access to them like service businesses and salespeople. Instead, we talked about creating customer loyalty. But, loyalty pales in comparison to relationships in terms of creating profits through repeat purchases and generating word of mouth. And, small businesses were in the worst position because they didn’t have the resources to compete with national brands.
Enter social media. Now all types and sizes of businesses can create strong one-on-one relationships with customers and other consumers.
2. Low cost
Social media is very cheap when compared to alternative marketing channels. Even major players spend less on social media than the cost of a single advertising campaign — Super Bowl ads went for about $3 million each last year. Add a million or so for production (more if you hired a major celebrity) and we’re talking some serious coin.
The return on investment (ROI) for social media is excellent. Not only is social media low-cost, but it’s more effective at reaching consumers and motivating purchases than traditional media. We’ve always known word of mouth is much more effective than traditional advertising and social media harnesses this power to generate sales and loyalty.
4. Customer Understanding
Consumers buy solutions — not products. They don’t want things, they want to get rid of problems that annoy them
By understanding customers, firms can provide better solutions — or frame their products in terms of solutions consumers care about. And, social media helps businesses understand consumers much better because it involves conversations — not lectures. Communication is two-way, so firms gain a clear understanding of what consumers’ lives are like and what they need.
5. Provide Better Customer Service
Research tells us less than 20% of dissatisfied customers complain — to us. We also know that negative word of mouth travels 5X faster than positive word of mouth. And social media speeds up this process dramatically.
But, social media also acts as damage control. When customers complain in social networks, they give us an opportunity to fix the problem — publicly. Now, instead of negative sentiment sitting there like dirty laundry for everyone to see, everyone sees how reasonable and fast we are in dealing with customer problems. Instead of looking bad, we now look wonderful to consumers.
Implementing Social Media
Hopefully, you’re convinced as to why social media is a must for your business. But, social media how-to is much more complicated. So, you need to learn effective strategies for implementing social media and decide which platforms are right for your target audience. Implementing social media is hard and is changing all the time.
But, we’re here to help.
First, sign up for our newsletter. In our newsletter, you’ll get updates on the content of this blog and insights to help your marketing sizzle.
Next, join our tribe on Facebook. Ask questions of the great experts in our group and they’ll happily help you. They also share new insights, tricks, and information with the group. It’s a great place to hang out.
Finally, check out my links. These are other great resources for information on marketing and social media.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if there are topics you’d like me to cover or if you are having problems implementing anything I recommend.
Also, I’d love to hear from you and your business, especially if you find my tips to help your business.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.