One thing I hear again and again at trade shows, speaking engagements, consultations and even on sales calls is the statement “I have enough sales, I don’t need social media.”
This statement is one that I completely understand. If the sales were pouring in using traditional marketing methods, why would you go for social media marketing? But in many cases when I ask a few more questions I find out that these companies are relying 100% on word-of-mouth and have a very minimal online presence (many times without even a website).
When I hear this, my first thought is that they are missing the power of having a website to stake their online territory. This creates a strong sense of credibility and can be used to convert those on the fence who may think that you are a fly-by-night operation. People are strongly influenced by the online marketplace, so not being there at all leaves you without an influence.
Oh, and by the way, over 60% of US consumers go online for information when ready to purchase.
But let’s go beyond that and focus on social media marketing.
As the sales and marketing world evolves, online conversations using social media will be more and more influential – especially if you are interested in having your company be competitive in 10 years time.
If you are still using only one marketing method, which isn’t online, your business could be at risk in the next decade.
Social media marketing is not all about sales, as many people think or choose to focus on. There are many opportunities that social media presents that are crucial and influential to not only business development, but also effective marketing.
Here are just 5 outcomes that are generated through social media that will be beneficial to your business:
1. Branding. Customers like to touch and feel a company that they are deciding which company to choose and social media lets them understand the nuances of your company. This includes your imagery, your logo, your mission statement, your….you! Social media also brands you as cutting-edge, especially if you are in an industry that is a late adopter to the social media realm.
2. Customer Service. Now repeat after me: bad comments are not the end of the world. If you are not using social media to see what your consumers are saying and managing those conversations you are missing a MAJOR customer service function. Saying that you don’t care or just deleting their comments may work now, but in the near future you may not be able to do this. Negative comments can be turned into powerful public relations opportunities.
3. Media Coverage and Community Exposure. No matter where you are located and what your market is, odds are that you local media and local community associations are involved in some way with social media. This will give you access to local and national media outlets as well as other influential local sources (such as Chambers of Commerce, etc).
4. Competitive Edge. By looking at your market on social, you will see competitors and what they are doing. And guess what – if they are there and you are not, then they are scooping up your online market share.
5. Credibility. Social media enables you to brand yourself and your company as an expert or thought-leader in your industry. Credibility is so important no matter what you do, so by developing your company as a source of valuable information you will not only be winning favor in the long run, but also business.
So as you can see, social media marketing is about more than just selling. You can generate a wide array of marketing outcomes that will not only help your business continue to be competitive, but set you up for continued online success.
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