If you’re a small business owner or even if you’re just considering starting a small business, you might be wondering if establishing a business presence on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn will really be worth it. Sure, social media platforms give customers another option for engaging with your business. But can your presence on these platforms really translate to increased sales?
In order to determine the exact ROI of your social media presence, you’re going to need to do some experimentation and a little math. But even if your social media presence doesn’t enhance your bottom line as much as you might have hoped, a social media presence can have less tangible benefits for your business. It’s one of the best ways to increase brand awareness, legitimize your brand, distribute great content, and improve customer service.
Make More Customers Aware of Your Brand
It doesn’t matter how great your products are if no one knows you’re selling them. The only way to get bodies through the door is to make your customers aware of your business and why they need what you’re selling.
Research shows that social media platforms are one of the most effective ways to reach customers today. Seventy-right percent of small businesses successfully use social media profiles to draw in new customers. Seventy-five percent of American consumers say they base shopping decisions on information found through social media, and 26 percent of Millennials say that they’re most likely to learn of new products, services, and providers through social media.
Give Your Business an Air of Legitimacy
A website alone is no longer enough to give your business the air of legitimacy it needs if it hopes to survive in today’s marketplace. That’s because websites don’t change much from one day to the next. Sure, there might be a new blog post every week or so, but for the most part, your website’s going to always display the same information.
Some crucial info it probably doesn’t display is whether or not your business is still active, whether there’s a special promotion going on, or whether you’re experiencing an exceptional closure.
Sixty-three percent of customers depend on a business’s social media page to find up-to-date information about that business. You can, and should, use a Facebook or Twitter platform to publish pertinent information and make daily posts that engage customers. Offer your customers something of value – share great content relevant to your business. Social media is great for content marketing, and there are plenty of online communications programs that can teach you more about building a strong online presence across multiple platforms.
Just make sure to keep your profiles active; an old profile that hasn’t been updated in weeks or months will put a customer off just as quickly an active, vibrant one can draw that same customer in.
Enhance the Customer Service Experience
Many customers these days don’t use the phone, or even email, to resolve customer service complaints. Instead, they make their complaints via social media message. Often, these complaints are visible to the wider online public. They constitute an opportunity for your business to establish greater brand loyalty not only with that customer, but with everyone in his or her network and the rest of the online audience who may be viewing the exchange.
Handle complaints promptly, courteously, and professionally, and you’ll improve your relationships with untold numbers of consumers.
Know Your Social Media ROI
While your business may amass thousands of followers on social media, you’ll need to do a little math to figure out how much cash each one is worth to your business. Start by offering the same promotion to followers on each one of your social media accounts. Then see which platform generates the most sales to learn which holds the most value.
To calculate the average value of followers on a specific platform, first determine how many of your followers on that platform have purchased your products within the past year. Find out how much the average customer spends per year, and calculate your profit on those sales. Then subtract the amount you spend on advertising or on social media management fees. That will tell you exactly how much your social media followers are worth in cold, hard cash.
Social media marketing can do a lot for your business. It can bring in new customers, help you build stronger relationships with existing customers, and become a trusted leader in your industry. Make the most of what social media has to offer, and soon you’ll find your business growing by leaps and bounds.