Why is social media important for business? As a small business, it won’t cost you to start promoting your product or services using your social media platforms. With focused time and attention, you can use your social media to great effect. This article will cover:
- Using social media for customer service
- Creating a community
- Building brand identity
- Improving sales
Providing excellent customer service
Social media’s initial purpose, at its core, was to communicate. Before it was used as a marketing tool to reach the masses, social media was about having meaningful conversations with friends and family, and businesses shouldn’t forget that.
Social platforms don’t just give companies the opportunity to reach more people; they open up lines of communication for more people to get in touch with a business directly. If your followers have a place they can directly go to get help, it builds trust with your brand.
Responding to both messages and public comments with support and solutions is impactful to customers and builds loyalty.
You can also use any customer service queries you receive on social media as a chance to share any useful blogs you have created as part of your content marketing or blogging efforts. Answering and solving an issue over Twitter in 240 characters is great. However, if you need to provide a more lengthy explanation, it shows your expertise if you can share an in-depth blog written by you to support your customer.
Creating a community
Businesses benefit from creating a community within their audience on social media, as people love to be part of something bigger. It’s been shown that Millenials and especially Gen Z respond better to businesses that create a community. They want to know that they support a business that shares the same values they have. So if you are a business that primarily works with people under 35, you may want to consider these steps to building a community feeling:
- Respond to comments and shares. People love to know there’s a human behind the account.
- Empower your followers. Highlight causes in your local area, or showcase your business’ charitable efforts, to enable your followers to take action with you.
- Try social listening. Engage with the content posted by your followers to spot trends, find out what your followers like and want, and use it as a chance to strengthen your bond with them.
- Don’t just post your own content. Share blogs or imagery from other businesses that you think would be relevant to your potential customers.
- Share stories of your customers to make them active participants in your social media. For example, a tradesperson could share before and after pictures, or a personal trainer/physical therapist can share their clients’ stories (with permission). By showcasing the client, they will be more likely to share the post with their own network, increasing the reach of your content and getting your business in front of new people.
- Share your own story. Followers like to see the person behind the account. If you share your ‘starting my own business’ story, followers can relate and create that all-important connection with you.
- Create a community hashtag (if it feels right for your business). Product-based businesses should consider the way that big brands utilise hashtags. For example, Jeep uses customer images where #JeepWrangler is tagged. The same goes for Calvin Klein’s universally recognised #MyCalvins. If you can feature your business name, or create a name for your audience (think of the Doctor Who Whovians or the Potterheads,) then you could be onto a great means of building a recognisable community.
As your follower count and engagement levels begin to grow, you’ll know you are on the road to a loyal community.
Building your brand identity
As well as your website, social media platforms are your digital storefront. Use them to create the voice you want your customers to identify with you. Are you humorous and friendly? Or are you direct and straight to the point with your communications?
This is the place to really develop that voice so that consumers know who you are, and what to expect if they work with you.
Often brands fall foul of hiding behind the ‘professional’ sounding voice they create, and that results in social media posts that feel too ‘corporate’. As mentioned above, followers respond better when they sense a real person’s voice is behind the account. Communicating in a relatable way will help you gain loyal followers.
Promoting your services
The first answer you may have been looking for when asking ‘why is social media important for business?’ is that it creates sales –– and you would be right. Ultimately, all this activity to build a loyal following gives you more opportunities to promote your business.
Social media can be more immediate and less costly than other digital marketing strategies. An effective SEO strategy could cost you the fees of an agency and may take a while to take effect. If you don’t have the funds yet, social media is a good starting point.
Investing time into your social media can result in more followers, shares, and likes. All these activities give you more chances to direct users back to your website, your contact details and your services.
But it can’t be all about the ‘hard sell’. Considering all the points in this article will get you to a point where your social community feeds into your sales.
Make it easier to run your business
While you’re spending time building your social media presence, you can save hours on financial admin with Countingup. The Countingup business current account automates bookkeeping, so that you can spend more time growing your business. Find out more here.