Despite the widespread use of social networks among individuals and companies, there are some managers who are unwilling to invest in social media for the sake of their company. This is especially true when it comes to older business owners who are more comfortable with marketing strategies of the past. Not having grown up with this technology like the younger generations, they can sometimes be reluctant to learn about the newest promotional techniques made possible by social media. According to a study by InSites Consulting, only 11% of American companies have fully integrated social media into existing business programs. Here are some convincing reasons why all companies should invest in social media:
1. Social media is cheaper than other marketing methods: Social media is one of the most inexpensive forms of marketing, and can be used by both the smallest and the biggest companies out there. Most of the costs of using social media involve design and implementation, and the technique yields a high return on investment (ROI). The most popular social media platforms today, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, are free to use. Realistically, when it comes to social media, the real investment is time, not capital.
2. Social media is a great way to network: For those bosses who are skeptical about the practicality of social media, compare it to a giant networking opportunity. Instead of meeting potential clients at a workshop or sales event, social media allows companies to reach out and interact with people from all over the world. Your company’s competitors are most likely already using social media to gain online exposure, so don’t get left behind. Not only does social media increase brand awareness, but the network of online business or customer profiles can be used to generate leads for your company.
3. Social media results are quantifiable: Unlike other forms of marketing, tracking social media marketing results is easy. The success of a campaign can be measured by the number of followers, fans, shares, and likes. You can also monitor keywords associated with a specific business or brand at any time. Reporting these values to older business owners can help put measurable numbers on a seemingly vague marketing tactic. There are also many websites and services that will keep track of your social media results and standings for you, such as Klout.
4. Social media presence is a long-term asset: Social media is a good investment for your company if only for its longevity. Unlike a one-time advertising campaign that takes place in one city or state, social media gives businesses exposure to an audience of millions. Instead of paying a lot of money for print and television advertisement campaigns that all eventually end, social media campaigns get stronger as more time goes by. Every piece of information shared by a business via social media is archived. Each interaction that businesses have with potential or current customers can be seen and referenced publicly for years.
5. Social media provides better customer service: The older generation of businessmen strongly values customer service, so it’s important to stress the social aspect. Business owners can use social media to get customer feedback and as a tool to provide better, and more interactive, customer service. Social media updates helps customers stay informed about your business, gets customers involved, keeps your business on their radars, and greatly increases the chances of them sharing your brand with their friends. Not only does social media allow businesses to develop better relationships with their customer base, but it is also an easy way to keep tabs on what people are saying about their products and services.
While all of these reasons are convincing, perhaps the most important point is that businesses cannot afford to miss out on the social media opportunity. Businesses that are not currently using social media are greatly missing out, as well as sustaining damage because of their absence. Having an online social presence is now a part of a business’ credibility, and is the only way to keep up with their competitors.