Why you should be using social media in business

Are you debating whether to use social media for your business?

You can bet that many of your competitors are already marketing themselves online, whether it’s via Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, Pinterest, or the many other available sites.

By not marketing yourselves online you are choosing to ignore the cheapest and most effective tool for increasing brand awareness and your stake in the market place.

Here are five reasons why you should, as a business, embrace social media.

1. It’s cost effective
Social networking sites are free to use. They’re a great way of advertising your business, services and expertise to an unlimited audience. Even paying for advertising space is a very cost-effective way to gain clients. For example, a Facebook advert to gain followers can cost as little as £13 and bring hundreds of new customers to your page. When you look at the figures, that’s hard to ignore.

2. It raises your profile
Social media keeps your business current and keeps you in the minds of potential clients and customers. Online profiles are likely to reach people who otherwise wouldn’t know about your company through liking and sharing. Our PR team are experienced in writing posts and selecting images that people want to share with their friends so that they are seen by more than those who follow you, giving a healthy ‘organic reach’. However, companies who purely sell themselves online and offer nothing of interest find their reach restricted by Facebook, so getting the balance right is crucial.

3. It brings personality to your business
Social media is a very direct, personal relationship with customers and clients. It allows for conversation, giving customers a feeling that the relationship is real, and more than simply a company trying to sell something. But you must engage pro-actively. Leaving a bad review on your page for months, not replying to criticisms - these are major no-no’s. Look after your page, and you will be considered a company that looks after its clients too.

4. It’s instant
You can instantly send out information to your followers, meaning you can immediately react to situations to use them to your advantage. This is particularly useful when wanting to emphasise your expertise on a given topic, and be amongst those giving options. If a major news story breaks that’s relevant to your industry, you can be quick to comment and show your expertise, hashtagging allows you to be seen in news feeds of non-followers who are searching for that topic - again, growing your company profile.

5. It’s the new ‘word of mouth’
People who use social media are used to sharing information with their online friends and acquaintances. When your customers follow you on social platforms, they can refer it to their friends. When they post to your page or refer to your company, their friends see your information, and therefore they do your advertising for you.

What should you use it for?

6. Branding and awareness
The messages you post on social media build an image of your company. Carefully-planned posts that consistently carry the same tone and message build your company’s brand, whilst regular social media activity keeps the business in the minds of potential customers and clients. A mix of news, views, specialist services, give-aways and offers are key to this.

7. Increasing Web Traffic
All social networking sites should be used as a tool for driving traffic to your main website. Including your website address and linking to a specially targeted page in your social media posts leads more people to visit it and hopefully making that all-important call.

8. Marketing
Regular communication keeps your customers thinking about your business. You can send out information on special deals, your industry, company information and offers. You can share things you wouldn’t with traditional print advertising, and react to breaking news stories to reap the benefits.

9. Promotions
Special promotions encourage customers to buy more from your business. The promotions give new customers a chance to try your products or services. For these promotional ideas to work effectively you need to get the word out. Social networking allows you to share information about your promotions to a large audience. Paying for sponsored adverts reaches tens of thousands of new people, all while spending less than £200.

Bottom line - marketing is about getting the word out, engaging in conversations, taking suggestions, problem solving, educating your audience, and promoting your company, product, or service. One of the best ways for  businesses to create that buzz is through social media.

If we’ve convinced you to get on board with social media then get in touch with our PR team. We can simply just get you started and give you the training to run it in-house. Or for businesses who don’t have the time to dedicate to this task, we can do it all for you. To discuss social media management with our PR team, call 01482 216006.