February 15, 2013
Invented to help people socialize and connect online, social media now generates more sales for business owners!
By Maureen McCabe
From the printing press to television there have been many “media” revolutions. This century’s media revolution is social media.
Like most Canadian small businesses, you likely have no social media presence. Perhaps you are unaware of its benefits. Maybe you don’t have the budget to hire a professional. Learn the six key benefits of why your business can’t afford to miss out on leveraging social media to generate more sales.
Social media is a proven and influential new way for consumers and businesses to make more informed buying decisions. It is a powerful and cost-efficient way for your small business to engage new and existing customers to increase sales.
By reading this blog you will learn the six key benefits of social media. I hope it will convince you that you should “try it”. Before you do – and this is the most important message of my blog – you must have a marketing strategy or plan of attack before you start dabbling with it. Why? You can damage your brand image with wrong messages and comments from well-meaning staff that are writing or responding to comments and making posts and tweets etc.
Six key benefits of social media
1. Online referrals increase trust and confidence of potential customers
You know that your customers’ opinions matter – but now at a completely different level. What influences their propensity to recommend your small business?
Social media has enabled a far greater sharing amongst peers. Forrester Research indicates that 80% of customers trust word of mouth! Yes, more than any other form of promotion. Other studies indicate that only 14% of people trust advertising.
The following are two facts that will likely wow you to engage (e.g. start using) social media today.
- 70% of people trust recommendations from consumers they don’t know!
- 7 out of 10 people who read online reviews share them with their friends and business associates.
2. Drive more traffic to your site with “backlinks”
When you create and share content, your website will be “linked to” (known as backlinks) more often as people are sharing your content on their website, blog, or on a social media platform such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Facebook etc.
More links will improve your rankings in Google, Yahoo, and Bing which ultimately results in more traffic to your website. Like every business owner that I have ever met, I know you want to be on page one of Google – social media can make the difference.
3. Increased sales via “online” word-of-mouth
Word-of-mouth (WOM) communication has always been an effective way to increase business. Social media further accelerates WOM sharing. Today, social media is replacing public relations, PR, as the best way to become an “authority” on a subject.
Forrester Research shows that WOM is nine times as effective as advertising – and it’s free when you do it yourself! Or it can be done for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising if you engage a social media professional. Regardless, it’s effective and comparably inexpensive.
4. Uncover new marketing opportunities
Social media is a conversation. As a small business owner you can become a better listener to prospective customers’ needs and wants. By listening in on conversations about products and services in your industry, you can tap into an entirely new audience – one that your competition is likely neglecting.
5. Get more business from existing customers by keeping top-of-mind
When you open a new communication channel such as Facebook or LinkedIn and build good content it will read and shared repeatedly. Social media is a cost-effective way of keeping in constant contact with your current customers. As a result, relationships are strengthened.
6. Attract new customers by getting your followers to share
Research shows that well-written pieces of educational content are kept, saved, and shared.
One of the goals of social media is to have people talk about and share your content such as comments, blogs, tweets, posts etc.
The bottom line
Your business should engage with social media because it can have a significant impact on how people consume information. You can increase your sales when more visitors go to your website, request a quotation or free consultation, purchase your product or hire you. It’s that simple.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what to do next – explore your options today. Please contact me for a complimentary consultation – learn about the 21st century revolution!
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