Did you know customers are more likely to trust and try out businesses that have an active social media presence? In fact, according to Erik Qualman in his video #Socialnomics, 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media. Knowing how high that number is, how could you not want to dive into social media?
Social media is something that has become incredibly integrated in our culture. Hashtags show up on the news and people are becoming unable to sit through something, whether it be a tv show or an oil change, without Tweeting or posting to Instagram about it. The integration of social media in our society is a clear representation of how your marketing strategy should be structured. Social media marketing is one part of a larger plan that is all working toward your bottom line. Although it is only one part, it is incredibly important in building and nurturing your relationships, so it isn’t something that should be missed.
When approaching social media, you have to stop thinking of it as a vehicle, not a destination. Recognizing the many factors and benefits of social media is important, and remembering that no ONE thing is going to determine the success of your social media marketing. So, jump in the social media vehicle, and check out these four major benefits:
4 Major Benefits of Social Media Marketing
1. Easily connect with your customers.
Your social channels are not your website, and they shouldn’t be treated as such. Don’t bombard your audience with blanket advertisements. They want to connect with people and brands. Your social channels are opportunities for you to show potential customers and remind current ones what sets you apart from your competitors. People like to see brands humanized, so whether you have special birthday celebrations or provide doughnuts to customers every Thursday, social media is the perfect place to share it!
In addition to showing your audience your personality, social media also provides you many customer service opportunities. Whether you’re on Facebook or Google+, reviews are everywhere, and, if handled well, both positive and negative reviews can have a positive impact on your business. You can take control of the conversation and what is being said about your business on the Internet. You can also understand how customers perceive your brand. Learn from what people are saying.
2. Provide value to your customers.
As much as customers love seeing your shop’s personality, showing them that you are involved and knowledgeable about your industry is just as important. By offering valuable information to your customers, you are not only helping them out, you are also showing your expertise. Providing that information gives them one more reason they will consider choosing you and then stay loyal to you.
Interesting articles from the industry, tips your customers can use in between maintenance visits and things to look out for that may indicate a problem are all things that show that you want to help your customers, while establishing yourself as a leader in your industry.
3. Improve organic search results.
Not only does having social channels add to your overall online presence, some of these social channels are actually indexed by Google, so staying active on them can help your organic search rankings. Social actions have different weights in search engines’ algorithms, which is why engagement is key. According to SumAll, “social media directly impacts your business’ search engine optimization efforts and search engines influence your social media presence.”
Social media is increasingly having an impact on organic search rankings in a number of ways, depending on how well you are leveraging your social channels. The number of quality connections you have in your networks, the quality of the content you publish and how well-optimized your page is for search are all factors that can help your organic search rankings. Connecting to other active social accounts is another way for your information to both be seen by more people and for search engines to recognize your brand as quality content.
4. Increased exposure to the right people.
Last, but certainly not least is the obvious opportunity social media provides to promote your business to more people. You should be integrating promotions for your shop into your social media strategy! Your social channels can direct people back to your website, blog or specials page. Let social be the gateway to your website for new customers, and make people want to come back for more.
With this increased exposure, many social platforms actually allow you to target information, making it more personalized. Facebook ads, for example, allow you to create highly targeted ads that are shown to people based on the information on Facebook. You can also directly respond to comments, adding a personal touch.
There are inevitably fans of your Facebook page who have not needed your services yet. And there are fans of your page who might not need (at least think they need) another service from you for a while, but those people who Liked your page are significantly more likely to come to your shop when they do need repairs. That’s why social media is so important. It should be used as both an acquisition and retention tool. If you maintain the delicate balance that should exist among the content you share on your social channels, you can reap some major benefits!
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