Many small to medium-sized business owners are still on the fence as to whether or not they need social media. We say it's a must, and here are some good reasons you should jump on the bandwagon.
Both current and potential! Social networking continues to grow at an amazing pace, becoming a more reliable source for consumers than ever before. Users trust in these networks for peer reviews, placing more value on this information than in paid advertising.
Maintaining an active social media presence demonstrates your willingness to reach your target market. Making yourself available and interacting with the public shows the human side of your company. Don't forget that the key here is to be SOCIAL. Share things people are interested in hearing about. If you simply post "salesy" stuff and talk about how great you are, people will be turned off. Not to say you shouldn't mention a good deal now and then, but mix it up a little. And don't be rude - respond to people when they reach out to you! Whether it's good or bad feedback, don't ignore it. People appreciate being acknowledged.
You're not a competitor if you're not competing. The more your competition shows up and the more people talk about them, the more popular they're going to be. With so many people regularly using social media, you're at a big disadvantage if you're not on the same playing field as your opponents.
And it's never been easier to spy on your competition! Lurking around on your competitor's Facebook page is a great way to keep tabs on what they're up to. What do they do to attract target customers? Watch what their followers respond to and what they offer in the way of promotions. Learn about the growth of their business; new services they're offering or new technologies they've introduced. Compare their social media strengths and recognize your own weaknesses, then use this to improve and make yourself unique.
Social media is playing an ever-evolving role in regards to search engine results. There's been some conflicting and confusing information as to whether search engines consider the number of "likes" and followers you have in terms of ranking. However, we do know that if social media platforms are crawled and indexed like other pages, it's beneficial to your search results. It's no coincidence that companies with a strong social media presence also have good rankings in search engines; they have a well-executed marketing strategy and recognize the importance and benefit to including social media.
Investing in social media development is a vital piece in establishing your online presence. Even if social media efforts don't result in direct sales, recognize the value in building brand awareness and the opportunity to establish yourself as a leader in your market space.