4 reasons to do social media (other than to directly make sales)
When I tell people that I do marketing, quite often their first response is something along the lines of:
“Oh, I know I need to do more marketing; I just don’t seem to have time to post on social media.”
“Do you think I should be doing social media? Is it really worth it?”
“I just hate social media, but I know I need to do it for my business.”
It’s almost as if “social media” has become synonymous with “marketing.”
While social media is a component of marketing, it’s not the only component. In fact, its importance depends on the overall goals of a marketing strategy. Not every business owner needs a social media presence. But more importantly, social media should never be the only marketing tactic. A good marketing strategy is created based on your target client and strikes the right balance of marketing tools that leverage resources needed to reach your target audience.
There are definitely benefits to using social media for businesses. Those benefits will vary depending on the type and size of the business, as well as the personality of the business owner. For some businesses, social media can become the primary source of leads and new business. It can even be how customers purchase products.
For other types of businesses, social media may not be a direct source of sales, but it may still be an important tool in the marketing strategy. Here are 4 reasons why a business might want to consider maintaining a social media presence other than to directly impact sales.
1. Helping your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Think of social media accounts as landing pages
Here’s a question - when you Google your business name, what comes up in the search results? Hopefully, your own website is one of the top results. Below that, what else pops up? Social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn have high domain authority (that basically means search engines really trust them), so your pages associated with those platforms are often going to come up high in search results. When people search for your business, don’t you want as many results as possible that appear on the first page to be content that you control? If you think of social media sites as landing pages for your business, they become an additional way to deliver your message to your audience.
With this in mind, the goal becomes having helpful and accurate information on your profiles rather than constantly posting new content. If people click on those sites, you want them to learn the most important information about your business. This means you’re not trying to figure out the algorithm or giving up hours a week with coming up with new, engaging things to post. You’re simply maintaining your presence there so that people can learn more about you and your business. To use social media profiles to enhance your website’s SEO, make sure your profiles contain your business name as it appears on your website header, and that your link is in the About section. As mentioned earlier, social sites have high domain authority. When your profiles link back to the website you own, it’s going to help your website’s performance.
2. Creating Brand Ambassadors - Give your loyal customers an easy way to share about you
If I had to guess, I bet you have clients who just love you. They love the work you’re doing, and they even want to help you grow your business. Of course, the main thing you’ll want to do with these customers is to ask them to write a review on Google. But once that’s done, you can use social media to capitalize on their support. By maintaining a presence on social media and encouraging your clients and supporters to connect, you’re creating an easy platform for them to brag about you. While it’s possible they could write about you from their own profiles, we both know that’s unlikely to happen. When you send out content on social sites, you’re giving them a quick and easy way to share about you or say something nice. People are far more likely to act on a newsfeed post than they are to post about you out of the goodness of their hearts. It’s not that they don’t love you! People are just busy. For several of my clients, it’s not uncommon to see comments on social posts that say something such as “We love XYZ business! They did great work for us!” It may seem like a small thing, but someone else’s short sentence about you does a lot more marketing work than almost anything you can say about yourself.
3. Maintaining an additional communication channel - Get your messages out there
Among the many lessons that businesses had to learn in 2020, one of them is that a situation can turn on a dime. Within a day, you might have to shut down your whole business. Not every situation is going to be as dire as what happened in the world back in March 2020 when the COVID pandemic started, but there will be times when you need to get messages out to the masses quickly. Of course, social media should not be the only way you communicate with customers and prospects. Social sites are not “owned” platforms, meaning you do not own them or have full control over your profiles. You may have some level of control over it, but the platform owners have the right to close down any page or every page at any time. It’s just smart business to make sure you have other means to reach people (such as email, text, or even snail mail) to communicate an important message. Despite lack of ownership, having a social media presence that is already built up can become a powerful tool for sharing messages. A crisis is not the time to suddenly start a profile and try to build a following. By maintaining a presence on social sites over the course of time, you’ll have just one more tool at your disposal.
4. Making it a Portfolio - Use social media to showcase your products and services
Depending on the type of business you have, a social media site can function as a type of portfolio. For example, if you are a graphic designer, you can post work in progress or final productions. Depending on the site, you can even organize your content in a way that’s easy for people to view and learn more about your work.
It’s also important to showcase your work on your actual website. I would definitely not recommend only putting up your work on social media sites for those ownership reasons I mentioned earlier. But if you have limitations on the amount of media you can publish to your own website, social media may be an excellent storehouse for your content. Using social media sites as additional ways to highlight what you can do can become a very powerful part of your marketing.
Overall, what’s most important is that you carefully consider your reasons and goals for social media or any marketing tactic for that matter. You’ll want to make sure you’re putting an appropriate level of investment into the work based on the desired and actual outcomes. You don’t need to hire a full-time social media manager if you just want to use social media profiles as landing pages in search results, but you do want to make sure someone is putting the right content on them and maintaining them.
If you’re thinking about your social media or just marketing in general for the new year (or even right now), but aren’t sure where to begin, I’d love to have a chat to discuss! It can be hard to figure out things in your own head. Talking with someone is a great first step, so reach out today for a free consultation call.