Whether you love it or loathe it, social media is part of our daily lives and the role it can play in business marketing continues to grow.
A survey of more than 1,000 businesses found 47% of small businesses, 49% of medium businesses and 60% of large businesses had a social media presence, while 9 in 10 businesses used Facebook as part of their marketing strategy.*
If your business is not on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, and you’re not running promotions or advertising via social media platforms, you’d be wise to have a really strong alternative strategy in place as chances are, your competitors are taking advantage of new leads on these platforms.
“Marketing for new members and new staff will continue to get tougher and the less savvy gyms marketers who dish up the same/same monthly offers, or fail to differentiate, will see increased marketing costs, higher drop-out rates and will ultimately struggle to make profit. The sheer volume of businesses now using social media, and the recent algorithm changes, mean that businesses with the largest budget and those that simply look pretty on Instagram will no longer dominate. Instead the gap will narrow and businesses that show a professional social media presence and consistently provide genuine value, entertainment and education to their followers will be deemed more relevant and be better positioned to influence buyers.”
— Steve Grant, GymHub
If you’re sitting on the fence and wondering whether you should dedicate your energy to social media marketing, here’s some food for thought:
Access your customers
When you build a social media community, it gives you a platform to directly engage with your existing and potential customers. The key is to use it well. Listen, ask questions and be responsive – don’t just bombard your followers with sales messages otherwise you’ll run the risk of losing their attention – they’ll ‘unfollow’ you or tune out.
Showcase your expertise
Providing high quality content as part of your social media strategy can help reinforce your position as an expert in your field. You may decide to write a blog where you provide useful articles or editorial pieces. And if your content is good, it becomes shareable and that will extend your reach beyond your current followers.
You can go to town with a digital agency or place a heap of paid digital advertisements – or you could approach your social media work in a more simple, low-cost way and still get great results. There are plenty of free tools and resources you can access to get started, and you can always tap into specialist advice along the way as you need it. Check out Google’s free online training resources as a starting point https://learndigital.withgoogle.com
Increased traffic and SEO
Using social media platforms can also drive more traffic to your website. Use your website to host your articles or promotions so you can encourage followers to click through and give them a reason to stay and look around. You should also have your keywords in mind as you’re developing your social media posts as it will all build towards a stronger SEO ranking.
Build your brand personality
More than a website or other traditional forms of marketing, your social media platforms can allow you to communicate the personality of your business and your staff. It can help you humanise the service you offer and build stronger, two-way relationships with your followers. Over time, that can enhance brand awareness and loyalty.
While getting started on the road to a social media presence for your business might seem a little daunting to start with, when done well, it can be a low-cost, high-impact string in your business bow.
Start by taking a look at what your competitors are doing on social media and the kind of approach you’d like to take. And contact a PaySmart Business Development Manager today and we’ll be glad to bounce some ideas around together.