Today nearly any business is present on social media – be it just a Facebook page or active accounts on every platform there is. But even though many business see social networks as a free promotion tool, in the end they are not free at all.
If you choose to engage in social media actively, you will need to invest in it – coming up with prizes for contests, setting up Facebook and LinkedIn advertising, or even hiring a full-time SMM manager. The question is are these expenses justified for your business? Do you really need to put that much effort into promoting your company on social media, or can you afford ignoring the whole thing?
Here’s Why You Cannot Totally Ignore Social Media
The truth is even though for many businesses social media are not the source of actual leads, there are reasons why you cannot ignore them completely.
- When customers are talking about your business, you want to be part of the conversation.
For consumer-oriented businesses like ecommerce stores, restaurants, and many others, public opinion means a lot. People often use social media to discuss things they like and don’t like, so you’ll want to hear what they have to say. If you don’t follow conversations about your business on social platforms, you may never know you are getting ‘bad press’. If you do, though, you get a chance to communicate with unhappy customers and fix your reputation by resolving their issues.
- You want to let your customers reach you fast.
As mentioned in an earlier post, social media users see Facebook, Twitter and other platforms as a way to get in touch with businesses and get instant response. By maintaining a presence at least on the most popular platforms, you give your customers a chance to reach you quickly: ask a question, leave feedback, or even place an order (for example, here’s how F-commerce worked for one online store).
- You want to get good search engine rankings.
Search engines are paying more and more attention to social signals, so pages on social media with links to your website are good SEO assets. It’s even better if your accounts are active, and links to your website are often shared by users across social platforms.
Which Industries Don’t Need to Invest a Lot in SMM?
Social media are beneficial for local consumer-oriented businesses, such as cafes, fashion stores, hotels, or hair salons. If your business offers products or services that people buy regularly and would want to leave reviews about – be sure to add social activities to your marketing strategy. Businesses that are merely digital, like design agencies or IT companies, cannot do without social presence either.
On the other hand, if yours is a niche business with target audience that is not that active on social media (for example, you sell surgical equipment), you will soon discover that investing a lot of time in SMM doesn’t really pay off. The same is true for businesses that deal with the negative side of life – say, divorce lawyers or funeral homes. These companies still need to find customers online, but you wouldn’t expect their clients to leave Facebook reviews or engage in contests.
The bottom line is every company does need social presence for a variety of reasons, but not each business has to put effort and invest money into getting noticed on social platforms. So, before you make SMM the focus of your marketing strategy, consider the specifics of your business and your audience.
Now, what kind of approach works best for you? What kind of business are you running? Please share your experience in the comments below.