Social media has become more than a marketing buzz word. With more than 70% of local business owners utilizing social media for their marketing campaigns it’s clear that business owners understand that they need to be on social media.
At Welcomemat we work with small business owners every day to help them build great local marketing plans- and while most of our clients agree that they need to be on social media, there is also an overwhelming wave of ambiguity that surrounds the platforms and it’s expected deliverables.
We’ve taken the most common questions and outlined your social media 101 guide for local business owners.
Q. How do social media ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ create more business for me?
It’s important to be realistic about your expectations for social media results. The foundation of social media is relationship building, which in turn instills customer trust, and builds customer loyalty. There are short term growth opportunities, long term growth opportunities, and operational cost reductions that can results from social media efforts.
– Expand reach and awareness, increase website visitors, share news, engage conversations, etc.
– Build creditability, establish branding, customer retention, exponential word of
mouth awareness, etc.
Reduction of Operational Costs
– Customer Service, single medium to share to all audiences,
quick to measure success and optimize.
Q. Why do customers care if I have an active social media presence?
Today’s reality is that customers research online before making buying decisions. Customers want to be able to trust the businesses that they are supporting and know that they are getting a quality product at a fair price. When a customer looks you up online, they will find your social media accounts and they are looking for validation in your business.
– If you don’t have a social media presence, consumers will wonder why, and loose trust in your brand.
– If you have an inactive social media presence, Consumers will wonder why no one is engaging with your business and again, loose trust in your brand.
– If you have an active and used social media presence, consumers will want to be a part of your brand! They will see the community of followers that are customers and instantly trust your brand and remember your brand.
Q. If social media is free, why would I pay a marketing company to do it for me?
The notion that social media is free, is an over exaggeration. Sure, the tool is free, but there are expenses that tie into creating a valuable social media presence. Consider these expenses in both outsources fees and time value: boosting/ad budget, graphic design creation, audience building, caption writing, scheduling, and the time it takes to keep up with the newest social trends.
It’s been estimated that the average local business owner spends 27 hours a month on social media posting and responding. If you calculate the cost of your time and consider the other operational tasks that you could be using your time for, you can calculate a value figure for outsourcing social media management. Start with that number and asses the extra benefits that an expect can offer your business.
Q. I hear that social media is ‘the new word of mouth marketing’, what does that mean?
Social media marketing has been compared to word of mouth marketing because both are community driven platforms where customers speak openly about their experiences with your business an influence how others feel about your business.
The biggest difference is that in social media, you can actually see what your customers are saying and influence the conversation. You can even drive the conversation because you are in control of the content that is posted on your business page. You can respond to comments and questions, connect with consumers, and even re-target these consumers with more information.
Q. Why is it so important to be active on social media?
Social media is where your audience is already! Meet them where they are, and they are going to be more likely to find you. 62% of people say that they get their news from social media and the average person spends 2 hours a day on social media. In a word driven by convenience, your business needs to be conveniently reachable, or consumers will find another option.
To learn more about Welcomemat’s local social media marketing program you can visit us HERE.
Welcomemat specializes in helping local businesses build the right local marketing plan for their business to drive new customers and increase customer retention.
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