Despite all the excitement about Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, lot of businesses have put off making any real attempts at social media marketing. Some don't understand it, while others feel like they don't have the time or resources to really pursue a strong social presence.
In meeting with new clients, however, we often find that the real reason many of them haven't bothered with social media marketing in the past is that they just don't understand the benefits. They don't see any real payoff. Or if they do, they think it won't come until they have thousands of contacts and followers.
That's a valid concern, especially at a time when few of us have the extra hours or dollars to invest in something that isn't going to show a positive return.
So, what can you actually expect to get from a brand-new social media marketing campaign? Here are a few benefits you can enjoy almost immediately:
Better one-on-one communication with your best customers and prospects. Obviously, you can also communicate one-on-one with customers through e-mail, but social networking lends itself to more personal feel. Plus, social sites let you connect with prospects in a way that feels less pressure, especially if you have contacts in common.
An improved picture of what your customer demographic looks like. One of the best ways to use your social media profiles is to connect with existing customers and see what kinds of things they have in common. Perhaps you'll find things about their education, work experience, or personal life that can help you identify other good customers in the future.
More referrals within your existing base of customers. Because social media sites make it a snap for people to introduce different contacts within their groups are circles, satisfied buyers can easily send you referrals and recommendations that could turn into ongoing relationships.
A better platform for customer service. A lot of simple customer service tasks (like FAQs for new product, for example) can be handled through social media. That's great because it lets you share answers and insights with everyone on your list, not just the customer or prospect to initially made an inquiry.
Quick, inexpensive ways to promote specials, discounts, and events. As your web of social networking contacts grows, you can use your profiles to supplement e-mail newsletters and other tools for communicating with your list quickly and inexpensively.
While it's true that social media marketing requires a bit of time to get started, and it doesn't offer the kinds of immediate returns that tools like pay-per-click advertising do, that doesn't mean that you can't use it to improve your business right away. The key is to know what to look for, and structure your campaigns in a way that help you reach those goals.
Feel like you could use some help with social media marketing, search engine optimization, or customized business web design? Now is the perfect time to speak to a member of our team and see what we can do for you.