13 Reasons Why Using Social Media for Business is Non-Negotiable!

Posted on March 30th 2012

13 Reasons Why Using Social Media for Business is Non-Negotiable!
 

13 Reasons Why Using Social Media For Business is Non Negotiable!

Is there ever a time when having a social mediaImage presence is an option? I believe the answer is no, in this day and age as a business you can’t afford NOT to leverage social media. Here are my 13 Reasons why using social media for business is not negotiable.

1. Social proof

Consumers are more and more savvy about who and where they purchase products from and people will take the time to research online before making a purchase. By having a social media presence that is both engaging and engaged it helps reassure clients that your business is reputable and can be trusted.

2.Humanizes your brand

Copying and pasting marketing lingo into social media just doesn’t work. You have less space to do it and the environment is completely different. Social media gives your business the opportunity to reach out and actually connect with your audience. No Stuffy corporate policies. Real one to one relationships.

3. Builds Your Sphere of influence

Your sphere of influence is the people in and around your brand that you interact with. There will always be key people of influence in your niche so spend some time getting to know them, watch and learn how they engage their audience and then start engaging with them. When you manage to develop a relationship with these key people of influence it impacts on your sphere of influence, people will see it and this too will help build your credibility online.

4. Your competition is using it.

Your industry or niche is represented on Facebook and Twitter. It is. If you don’t believe me go to Google and do a search for: “Your niche” + “Facebook” and see what comes up.

  • In 2011 Emarketer estimated that Facebook’s revenue from advertising was $3.8 billion and that could be $5.2 billion in 2012.
  • Emarketer also said that almost 40% of small businesses that sell on Facebook say it is their soles sales channel.

Companies are paying a lot of money to advertise and grow their brands in social media. That suggests that using social media for business is working. If you aren’t already, then you should be.

5. Your target audience is using it.

Think of Facebook as a shopping mall, where people are living a virtual social life, being present in this mall is one of the smartest moves you can make for your small business.

The old saying goes that, “numbers don’t lie” so here are the official statistics from Facebook about usuage.

Statistics

  • We had 845 million monthly active users at the end of December 2011.
  • Approximately 80% of our monthly active users are outside the U.S. and Canada.
  • We had 483 million daily active users on average in December 2011.
  • We had more than 425 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products in December 2011.
  • Facebook is available in more than 70 languages

Source: http://newsroom.fb.com/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=22

Of course these numbers are for Facebook only and don’t include any of the other social media sites which have hundreds of millions more of users. What would it mean to your business if you had 8 new customers? That is less than one millionth of the percentage of users on Facebook. Yes, there are certain pitfalls you need to ignore when using small business social media marketingbut surely it is worth trying.

6. Google counts social sharing when ranking.

The whole concept of the internet is a web. If you think of a web there are many layers or paths to a single point. The more paths, called links, to this single point the more authoritive, or stronger the point becomes.

When many different people on social media refer to your content, your website, your articles ,or your video it means that those individual people find your content useful, entertaining, informative or all of the above. When this happens the search engines pay attention and in return use this as a factor to provide better search engine placement for your content.

Click on the following link to learn more about the social media effect on seo.

7. Provides great brand exposure

If your brand can really embrace the nature of social media, through providing great content and engaging and interacting with your audience in a manner that leads to building a great community that people want to be involved with, then your brand will get a great boost.

8. It’s the next generation of Word of mouth marketing

What better way to interact with new potential clients than via people who have already experienced what your brand has to offer? When your social media presence starts to generate conversation and reactions such as; likes, shares, tweets, pins or whatever else it maybe then you get their approval. This social recommendation is visible to that persons individual following and acts as a great gateway for their friends or family to get to know more about your brand.

9. Social Media Networking sites have high Page Rank

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn have high Page Rank. This means that in terms of the search engines like Google and Bing that they carry authority and therefore get good rank in search results. Having a well optimized social media profile on Facebook or LinkedIn can help you command search result places for your brand name or search terms related to your business, providing more ways for clients to get in contact with you.

10. Provides Transparency

Social media is an open book. If someone likes you then great, everyone can see it. If someone doesn’t like you and mentions something negative about your brand or experience then this too is available to the community.

Many successful businesses that leverage social media use this as an advantage to show how switched on they are by replying and finding a resolution and closing that loop. This shows to the watching community that your business has integrity and values interaction, criticism and debate and more importantly knows how to deal with it.

11. Opens Up Conversation

The users of your brand or experience are the best people to learn from when it comes to making things better. By invoking questions about the usability of your experience you will get an understanding as to what clients are looking for. You will also be able to gauge how to improve things in the future.  Social media for small business success is truly about listening as opposed to marketing!

Conversations act like a magnet; when one starts people prick up their ears and take notice. This can have a knock on effect where more and more people jump into the conversation. This could help to get your content and brand spread wide and far.

12. Aids Customer Service

Many businesses face the same questions time and time again when it comes to customer service. Use your social media outlets to answer those questions. By doing it this way you can highlight to your community that you are available but also get other people within the community to provide answers and support to new members who have perhaps experienced the same issues themselves.

13. Brand Exposure

Everybody wants to expose their brand to a larger audience. The more targeted people who are aware of your brand, the greater the chance you have of turning those into leads, paying clients and brand advocates.

In conclusion, using social media for business today is as important as learning how to use email for business 15 years ago.  We need to embrace social media; the possibilities it brings and the challenges it presents in order to remain profitable and, most importantly, relevant in an ever increasing social world.

 

 
James Debono

James Debono

MD, Big Thinking Online

James Debono is co-founder of Big Thinking Online, the leading online marketing agency, which helps businesses globally switch on their local marketplace. You can find out more about James at his self titled blog, which is designed to give entrepreneurs and small business owners practical advice on how to leverage the ever growing potential of the internet to drive business growth and positive change.

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Comments

Loraine Antrim
Posted on March 30th 2012 at 9:30PM

Social media for business is non negotiable. Yes!  And "the why" is easy. At its core, social media is all about communication.  How can any business thrive today without a communication platform for its customers? James, all your points are spot-on, relevant and very critical to any company wanting to advance in a competitive marketplace. Thanks for the great post! Loraine Antrim

BelkisMarketing
Posted on March 31st 2012 at 12:59AM

James, great post. I think this is espcially true for small businesses and non-profits. These are the types of businesses who don't have the big bucks to pay for a billboard or a TV spot but they can certainly benefit from social media if they know what they should be doing like aiding in customer service and opening up conversations as you pointed out. It's important to know WHY they should be online and you made 13 great points! 

James Debono
Posted on April 1st 2012 at 3:30PM

Social media is a great avenue for all business, big, small or non profits to reach out to their customer base and help grow brand awareness online.

Thanks for leaving a comment,

James

GLHancock
Posted on March 31st 2012 at 1:51AM

Excellent compilation of persuasions - thanks for doing it for me to share with my clients!

James Debono
Posted on April 1st 2012 at 3:27PM

No problem, I am glad it is valuable and I hope it helps educate your clients.

Thanks for the comment,

James

James Debono
Posted on March 31st 2012 at 8:01AM

Hi Loraine,

Business is has and always will be about people and relationships.

Social media has meant that more and more people are online. Thus businesses need to have a presence in order to be involved in the conversation and continue fostering lasting business relationships.


Thanks for the comment,

James

Charlie Torre
Posted on April 3rd 2012 at 4:52PM

HI James,

 

Great article....questilon....I have a small side business, and am new to Social Media (I just signed up for Google Places).  Could you recommed regarding material, and other things to get started (at this point, I am very interested in free things that can be done, as opposed to Adwords, etc.)

 

Thank you,

 

Charlie T.

James Debono
Posted on April 3rd 2012 at 8:33PM

Hi Charlie,

Google Places is a good place start. Excuse the pun. Especially if you are looking to capitalise on a local market.

  • Select as many relevant categories for your business as possible
  • Populate your Place Page with as much current, relevant and keyword rich content; including images and video as you can
  • Add your logo;

With regards to social media; getting access to social media and creating a profile is certainly free however don’t underestimate the investment of time it will take to develop relationships and build an engaged community.

Click here to read 9 Small Business Marketing Tips That Won’t break the bank!

I Hope this helps!

James

 

 

DrLeisa
Posted on March 31st 2012 at 6:28PM

Thx James! This makes it easier to understand why we're engaging with our patients. As you said, it's not an option. Much different than the old days of just running an ad!

James Debono
Posted on April 1st 2012 at 3:25PM

Hi Dr Leisa,

You are right it is much much different from the old days of running ads.

Social media is about building relationships, having conversations and most of all sharing.

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

James

kristimarc
Posted on July 24th 2012 at 5:06PM

Hi James,

Great article!  I actually shared this with my readers because I thought it was fantastic.  You will find a link to your article from my blog.

Thanks for the great article!

Kristi

James Debono
Posted on July 26th 2012 at 7:22AM

Hi Kristi,

It is great to know that you found the article "fantastic".

That brough a smile to my face and thanks for sharing with your audience.

I hope it helps.

Thanks,

James

Caveat E. Mail
Posted on August 7th 2012 at 11:08PM

"Word of mouth" marketing has been the mainstay of my friend's  business, although he uses social media to some extent, and, apparently, just enough to get too caught up in electronic marketing to give himself some trouble.

What happened was that a customer used his product contacted my friend to tell him that she had named his business, repeatedly, in television and online media.  Emphasized how much she named the product.  Friend thanked the customer.

But, it wasn't true.  So, when my friend came across the sites with the customer's story and saw that there was no mention of his product or business, he made a big mistake; he contacted the customer, nicely, mind you, to ask if he had misunderstood.

You can't do this.  You cannot get so caught up in getting your name out there by whatever means that you take it too seriously, and act in a manner you know has great potential to bite you. I happen to have had experiences of my own with this customer and the damage she can do, and has done elsewhere, is irreparable.

So.  Use social media, but don't let the pressure of getting name recognition out there cloud your reasoning.  Once something is on the Internet, it stays.  My friend is taking a big step back having thrown some cold water on his face.

James Debono
Posted on August 8th 2012 at 1:19PM

Word of mouth marketing has and will be vital to businesses both offline and online for years to come.

Yes, when leveraging social media for business purposes one has to realise that every single piece of information, status update, blog post or article is available for the world to see and is available for the world to share.

You can not control what people like and share but what you can control is the fact that every piece of content that you produce leaves a positive impression for you and your brand.

hakeemad
Posted on December 13th 2012 at 3:47PM

Its a great article and I can't understand why you'll still find lots of businesses reticent to get involved (small businessess especially). Most often it's because they don't understand it and still have a perception that it is  the domain of youngsters and idol chatter.

Great points and to be fair I am having greater success convincing my clients to use social media in their marketing and they are having great results