Why Your Business Should Be Social

By Joe Cunningham, Internet Marketing Manager

Ten years ago, there was no such thing as social media.  There was radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, billboards, and websites were starting to be a big deal.  Today, there are more social networks than can be mentioned in one blog post, newspapers are used to wrap breakable items, and phone books practically don’t exist.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, and Google do.

Today there are approximately 1.15 billion Facebook users. (Wikipedia)


Give Me a Reason

As an internet marketing manager, I spend a good chunk of my time trying to convince people of what I think is “the obvious”: that, as a business, they need to be on social media.  Of course, there are the obscure exceptions (Blackwater perhaps).  So I’ve put together a short list of “why your biz should be social.”  Feel free to add your own reasons in the comments below.

#1: Because Everybody’s Doin’ It!

I’m not blanket-endorsing going along with the bandwagon here, but it’s safe to say, if all of your competitors have a Facebook page, and you don’t have one, chances are, you are going to look a little behind the times.  Okay, you will be behind the times.  Simply said.

#2: Professional Online Presence

Gone are the times when you can just have a 1970-somethin’ website up there with your name and phone number and that’s it.  I’m afraid that just won’t cut the mustard.  Nowadays, if I’m comparing companies for my own personal consumer use, if you don’t at least have Facebook and Twitter, “something is not right in Denmark.”  And 97% of people check the internet before driving down the boulevard to look for stuff.  It just saves time, gas, and the hassle.

Social Media Icons#3: Staying Connected

You used to have to send Christmas cards to stay connected with your customers.  That can get costly and kill a lot of trees.  Go to your Facebook profile right now and look at all the businesses you “liked.”  If you play your cards right: i.e. give good customer service and make it easy for people to find you online, chances are, the fans will come to you.  There are restaurants right down the street from my office with 10,000 likes, easy.

#4: SEO

Remember how I said 97% of people look for stuff online before going anywhere else?  Usually they Google it (don’t you?).  (In case you don’t know what SEO (search engine optimization) is, read all about it here in our blog.)

Search engines have recently changed their algorithms to put more emphasis on how many fans your website has on social media while ranking your website against your competitors,’ how active they are, how many of them click through to your website, etc.

So not being social pretty much means you won’t be ranked high on Google, which means you won’t be found and your competitors will, which means you lose money – a lot of money!  (You could change the title of this reason to “Money!”)

#5: Drive Traffic to Your Website

This is kind of obvious, but maybe not.  You should be blogging (read all about it) as a company also (chances are if you’re not doing social media, you’re not blogging) and the most common sense way to share your blogs is to post links on social media: “Read our latest blog post on…” etc.  Or showcase your services, link to your products, bla bla bla bla bla bla blaaa!  Enough said.

#6: Because “They’re Talking About You”

Reputation management is a huge deal online now, and a lot of it has to do with social media.  The old adage “People will share a bad experience ten times more than a good one” applies more so over social media.  Say one bad thing and 10% of your friends just read it in their newsfeed and the whole world (potentially) on Twitter.

Companies can and should have their ear to the ground and provide a place where concerns can be addressed.  Yeah, it’s the new thing but it’s a reality.  You just don’t not do it.  It’s like coming out with a silent movie: you just don’t do that anymore (unless it’s The Artist, and that is by far an exception).  A friend/client of mine addresses 26,000 users’ complaints on a daily basis (okay, not all at once, but) and people expect their voices to be heard.  Or they get p*ssed, and shop elsewhere where somebody will “listen” online.

That’s just a new world reality.  Ignore it and pay the price.

Let Me Tell You This in Closing

“Just do it!”  (An easy way to end anything.)  Social media marketing is – plain and simple – essential in today’s market.  Whether you get your niece to set you up on it or hire a pro (cough, cough), you gotta’ do it.  And you've got to have continuous activity, a marketing plan to engage fans and grow.  Easier said than done but still essential.  And if you need another reason, call me.

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