If you are a fan of programs such as Dragons Den or The Apprentice, they you will quickly start to realise the impact that marketing can have on a product or an entire business. Many of the candidates on these programs have an idea that may be really great, but without the correct sort of marketing, it is hard to let people know that your business or product even exists.
There are numerous ways of marketing and some types work better for some businesses that for others. Doing little or no marketing will make it virtually impossible to gain success and in turns sales and this is often the reason why many companies fail.
Social media is a great marketing platform for all types of businesses and to start with you don’t even need to invest any money in them, just a bit of your time. Even having social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter for example can gain you a few enquiries and if nothing else, will give you a place to showcase what your company offers and give your customers a way of contacting you other that the usual.
Setting up a basic social media profile is relatively straight forward, but to get the most out of it, it is recommended to speak to a marketing company.
When managing a business social media account it is important to bear in mind how much time you are spending on it. Social media sites can very easily make you lose track of the time, and before you know it you can have spent most of the day reading other posts created by people or businesses you follow. Social media marketing is definitely a great way to boost your brand awareness and some companies can even get sales directly from their social media activity, but you need to consider the time you put into it. Even the most avid of Tweeters, still need to manage their time to allow them to run other aspects of the business and also to focus on other marketing avenues. Although social media is definitely a must for all businesses, you may be missing out on a number of opportunities if you focus all of your marketing on this as there are still some people that do not use social media sites.
If you are finding that you are putting a lot of time into social media but not really getting anywhere then it may be time to call in the professionals.
Let’s try for a moment to remember the world before social media, no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram how did you reach your customers? Newspapers? Tv adverts? Radio broadcasts? As a business, you would have carefully planned and researched who you were targeting and how best to reach them. And it is no different now, except now they can reach you far more easily. As a consumer, I expect to be able to communicate with a business in the same way I do with friends and that is invariably going to be through social media. If a business has no presence on social media I am often sceptical about them, wondering why they are not making it as easy as possible to contact or research them. The simple fact is when I am looking to spend money with a particular company I want to feel comfortable with who they are and I want to know that if something goes horribly wrong a can contact them in an instant. By avoiding social media marketing a company can come across as standoffish and even lose customers. So to all of you wondering if Facebook is the right place for you consider this, not only can I find out everything I want to know about you in a couple of clicks, you too can find out about me, we can be ‘friends’ we can ‘chat’ and I might even ‘like’ you.
Many companies state that the do not want to use Facebook as part of their online marketing strategy as they offer a professional service and do not see how some parts of social media can help them. More and more people are using social media to find products and services they need, even such as accountants and architects. For this reason, it is vitally important to have a presence on there. Even if you do not get work directly from there, it can help to quickly build up a brand and may just give a customer confidence to buy from you. You may just use Facebook as another form of contact for some people, since, if someone can quickly send you a message, they are more likely to contact you than having to pick up a phone.
Also, Google does take into account social media activity when it looks at ranking your website on their search engines so it can all help towards your SEO.
As a marketing consultant, it surprises me how many companies are still not using social media as part of their marketing strategy.
Not only are these businesses not using social media but it is not always because they don’t know how to, many are just very reluctant to. If you use social media yourself on a regular basis you will probably understand the power of it. You may be following a number of businesses and joined a number of groups and find that you regularly interact with them and even purchase based on posts you have seen. If, however, you don’t use social media you may think it is a waste of time and a place you do not need to advertise on. By using the social media sites you do not necessarily need to do the paid for advertising, often creating a profile and keeping active is enough.