Should Your Business be on Social Media?
Posted 29 September 2016 by Stacey Papp
When aliens land on Earth and our world leaders show them everything that makes us a great civilization – our cities, technology, art, literature, music, architecture – we’ll no doubt also proudly present the Internet. The World Wide Web, after all, has created seamless bridges between people across the globe. We can use it to learn new languages or an instrument, read rare books that can’t be found in a library or bookstore, or run social justice campaigns.
And yet these lofty goals are not, for the most part, what we really use the Internet for. Case in point: A few years ago, a Reddit post posed the question, “If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about today?
The most popular reply, which went viral, was: “I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in to arguments with strangers.”
Sad trombone. While we love our Internet, the majority of us aren’t exactly using it to further mankind’s progress; we’re basically just on Facebook to look up old flames and using YouTube to watch videos of cute animals or ‘80s music videos.
That said, it’s still pretty much a requirement that a business has its own website these days – when your customers want to know your hours, pricing, services or location, they aren’t hitting up the Yellow Book or dialing 0 to have an operator connect them to you. They’re using your site to learn the basics before they ever speak to your employees, and just about any business owner knows this.
But what about social media? Some business owners consider having a page on Facebook or LinkedIn or a Twitter handle (@yourbusiness) to be unnecessary and a waste of time for whoever has to maintain and post to it.
That’s not true, though – especially as younger generations gain more purchasing power and start buying homes, which means they start wanting/needing the products and services a fleet business offers. Younger people are more likely to engage with a business on social media, post reviews, and check a business’s followers or social media presence – but that doesn’t mean older folks aren’t looking for you on social media, too; even your elderly parents use the computer these days.
Here are 6 reasons to consider adding social media to your marketing roster, if you haven’t already:
Offer better customer service. Many people use social media to post questions, comments, compliments or complaints – people who might not pick up the phone or send an email to do so otherwise. You can address questions or feedback as well as better control the message (for example, if someone posts a negative comment, you can post back an apology and a message that you will contact them privately, to show other users you’re addressing it).
Reduce overall marketing costs. Social media networks are a cost-effective way to put a business in front of current and new customers. Consider a small budget to boost certain posts on Facebook to target the exact demographics and interests you want to reach – it’s cheaper than you think, and could pay off big in leads.
Boost traffic to your website. Internet search engines are always looking for the pages earning the most traffic and boosting them higher than the pages that do less. Having multiple ways to drive traffic to your site means your pages show up higher in search engine rankings.
Build loyalty and trust. Customers have a lot of options to choose from for any product or service, and social media is like a good first handshake for new customers to authenticate your business and see who they might be dealing with. An active social media presence shows you engage with and care about customers.
Make yourself visible. If you’re not active on social media platforms, customers might forget you exist – and might start paying attention to your competitors, who pop up in their feeds more often. Post a few times a week across all platforms to show you’re engaged – even if it’s just an interesting article about your industry or a picture of a cute dog that says “TGIF!” it still demonstrates you’re still out there.
Create a voice. This relates to the cute-dog photo mentioned above – not everything you post should be about sales (although that content is definitely important as well, especially when you’re running a promotion). Post pictures of your employees on the job or your workspace, or something like, “Congrats to our field tech Gary and his wife Julie on their beautiful baby girl!” This humanizes the business, and customers like it.
One caveat about the last one: It’s best to stay away from anything remotely controversial, even if you feel strongly about it – your business is your brand, and unless you can afford to pick and choose your customers, you don’t want to risk alienating them by posting something that could be offensive, even if you think it’s funny or true.
While aliens likely will be more impressed with our art and music than in our social media pages (although who knows!), they’re probably not your current or future customers, who are going to be looking for you on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Dedicate a few hours a week to maintaining your social media presence, and the results will pay off in the form of new business and more job orders.
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