That should probably read, ‘Which question am I asked the most at the Pub?’ Genuinely, because it tends to pop up in conversation just after I mention what I do for a living. That and, ‘How do I get my business to number 1 on Google?’ I am always happy to answer both!
The question I am asked the most – ‘Why should my business take part in social media?’ Here is my best answer.
This is a very good question and one that I am asked the most of any questions about social media in general. The answer I give is usually well received. So here goes! I think your business should take part in social media because other businesses are looking at your social media pages (or trying to) to find out more about you before they make their own decisions about doing business with you. They are educating themselves about your business and gone are the days when they just visit your company website to do this. Recent studies show that people are 72% more likely to buy your product or services once they have visited your Facebook page. That’s a decent percentage and that’s a fairly decent answer!
Here’s another reason that your business should take part in social media. What do you want your business to look like in the end? This is a subject that always pops up in a business plan and in short, you don’t really want your business to appear behind the times, especially if you decide to sell one day. Take part now and your business will appear to have embraced the digital changes early on.
What are the real benefits of using social media for a business?
Hers’s a few,
- You can connect with every other company in your industry
- It gives you a voice, and one that can be heard
- You can keep up to date with interesting and engaging news about your industry
- You can share news about your industry with everyone you are connected with
- You are able to let everyone you are connected with know about changes to your business, or additional services
- It generates leads and helps you to meet new customers
- You can create meaningful relationships with potential new customers, sharing and supporting the good news they release about their business
- New customers can learn more about who you are
- It allows you to receive instant and live feedback
- It increases traffic to your website
- It increases brand awareness with little or no budget
- You can share your testimonials and successes with potential new customers
What tips can I give you?
If you are just starting out or thinking of using social media for your business I would recommend the following tips.
Start by running one platform to begin with. Don’t try to run before you’ve walked. Facebook is a good place to start. Once you start to achieve something with one platform, look at adding another, like, Twitter. If you have a personal profile on Facebook, setting up a Business Page is fairly straight forward.
Once you’ve set up your first social media platform such as Facebook, don’t just expect everyone to hit your ‘Like’ button and start following you. Many businesses make this simple mistake in the beginning.
Head to the ‘Search Bar’ and type ‘Cambridge’. Scroll to the bottom to view all. If you click on any of the selections that are offered you will just be viewing one business. Make sure you click ‘Cambridge’ again where the magnifying glass is at the bottom. You will now be able to start viewing other companies in Cambridge that are on Facebook, and now you can start to connect. This is what I call ‘The Reachout’. Once you do this, you are already ahead of the game, and that’s a good feeling to embrace if you are new to social media.
It’s very easy to appear self obsessed as a business on social media. If you are already running a Facebook page, how many of you have purposely searched your industry and started liking other pages? No matter who you are, it is crucial to do this from your company page. Firstly, other companies will like you back, secondly and most importantly, those companies now know you are not just here for yourself. I once explained this as a little bit like attending a network meeting and then placing a bag on your head. If you’re going to take part in social media, then reach out to everyone that you can and network. It’s not all about you, hit the like button yourself and show others that you are interested in them.
Increase your sales leads by up to 67% – Online marketing Cambridgeshire
It’s now time to start posting on Facebook. But what do you share? It’s a good idea to start your own blog or news section on your website and then to start sharing that news on your Facebook page. This can be useful as it drives more people to your website. By writing a weekly blog you increase sales leads by 67%. Whatever you post, it is good practice to be interesting and helpful. If you can help someone overcome a problem with your post, you will probably notice it becomes far more popular.
It’s really important to share the news of others. Again, do not appear self obsessed by just releasing your own news, share posts from the pages you have liked. So many businesses make the mistake of only posting their own news.
Try not to sell. Your visitors did not hit the like button to be sold to. They came here to see who you are and what you have to say.
Find the right time to post – Online marketing Cambridgeshire
Don’t just randomly post on Facebook at anytime you are free. There is a schedule button you can use and this is really helpful. I like to post at 5 to the hour, or 5 past the hour. Most people attend meetings on the hour and many tend to check their news feeds just before going into a meeting, or when they come out. Time your posts to give yourself the best chance of reaching more of your audience. Record the times that work best for you in terms of engagement from others. Also, find out which days your posts are most popular. These small changes can have a big impact.
Make sure you add the social media icon to your email signature and website. It lets all the people you already talk to know that you are now on social media.
Hopefully these few tips will help to give you a good head start should you decide to start using social media for your business. I won’t get started on the power of Facebook adverts or how to get your business to number one on Google, as we could be here all day, but maybe next time….
Jon Orchard is the Director of Local Buzz Marketing – Online marketing Cambridgeshire. He regularly makes presentations to businesses throughout the UK on all things digital marketing, such as Google Search Engines and Social Media.