I cannot tell you how many times folks have told me they aren’t on social media because the old ways of marketing (word of mouth, advertising, etc.) have “always worked” for them so why change things up?
But then they come to me asking for advice and insight on how to get more customers because they’re finding it hard to get more clients.
Many business owners aren’t necessarily against social media, they just don’t understand it and are afraid to use it. I find this especially true for folks who didn’t grow up with social media. It can be pretty intimidating! In the age of “everything on the Internet is forever!” I can understand why folks are hesitant to test the waters and try it out.
But if you are a business owner and aren’t on social media (yet), here are five reasons why you should be:
You’re missing out on HUGE untapped market
Social media allows you to reach your target audience. Any category you can think of: by age, income, interest, location, etc., you can reach the. With old ways of marketing/advertising — putting an ad in a magazine or billboard — you may be hitting a large market (think of those billboards that read “over 10,000 eyes on this billboard per day!”); however, how many of those 10,000 eyes on the billboard are people you are actually trying to reach?
With the use of hashtags and back-end analytics, social media allows you to specifically target who you want to attract. And guess what?
Never before has it been so easy to reach your target audience for how much? Free. That’s right, free. Yes you can invest in social media pay-per-click ads; however, if you are creating and pushing out good content, there should be no need for you to pay for ads if you have a good content marketing strategy.
The power of word of mouth, referrals and recommendations
This generation heavily relies on word of mouth, referrals and recommendations before investing in anything. I mean it, think of anything — products, clothing, hotels, restaurants — the list goes on and on. Reviews matter.
Building out a Yelp page or encouraging folks to check-in or rate you on social media only adds to your credibility as a business. When others share their positive experiences with you, potential new customers feel more comfortable and confident in giving you a chance.
Even better than that?
Customers will “advertising” for you — for FREE
Think about your most favorite restaurant in the whole wide world. How many people have you told about your most favorite restaurant in the whole wide world? How many people have you taken to your most favorite restaurant in the whole wide world? How often do you rave about your most favorite restaurant in the whole wide world?
If you’re anything like me, when I find something I like, and I mean really like, I tell, share and show every person I can reach — even the man standing at the bus stop — this amazing thing I found and I give 100 reasons why they should try it too.
Your most loyal fans, especially those who are very active on social media, can do this for you through social media. Every Instagram photo of a pastry from a local bakery is free advertising. Every check-in at a local restaurant with photos of the food accompanied with a caption that reads “Mmm mm so delicious!” is free advertising.
When people post on their personal social media pages sharing their favorite products they bought from you or how you provided them with amazing customer service, you just got major free advertising! Even better? If you’re on social media they can tag you so folks can be directly taken back to your page to learn more about your business.
The fact that the photos, captions and reviews are coming directly from the horse’s mouth has more influence than if you were to share the same information.
Adapt or die
Ok not literally die, but more so metaphorically. The world is constantly changing: new trends, new technology, new ways to communicate, etc. In today’s ever-changing world, learning to adjust and adapt is a must.
The world looks very different than it used to. Customers have changed, traditional marketing practices have changed. It’s important to not only know who your target audience is, but also how to reach them where they are. And where they are is on social media.
Not being on social media due to fear of change, fear of not understanding the platforms, fear of posting something “wrong,” etc. are not valid reasons to not adapt.
Learn. Teach yourself. Use Google or YouTube to help learn the basics. Create private social media accounts to play around with it and get used to it. Ask any millennial to teach you the ropes and they will be glad to.
Better yet, hire a marketing consultant/social media specialist (like me!) to help get you started and to teach you best practices on how to leverage social media to promote and market your business. You won’t regret it.