This post was updated on April 12, 2018
Managing the marketing budget of your business needn’t be tedious, nor does measuring its performance. Social media has provided a marketing platform that is easy to access and maintain while producing measurable performance and outcomes. Why then are so many businesses hesitant to delve into the world of social media? Do they think that it is cost prohibitive or too hard to manage?
In recent years, marketing via social media channels has grown rapidly. New features such as Facebook Live and ephemeral content on Snapchat have provided businesses with more opportunities than ever to connect with their audience. If that’s not enough, the marketing budget for many companies is expected to double within the next few years. With 95% of young adults using social media to follow a brand and over 2.5 billion active social media users, one cannot simply let a tool this influential fall by the wayside.
Whether you have a small business or one that does millions of dollars in annual revenue, the use of social media cannot be underestimated. And, the sooner you jump on the bandwagon, the sooner you will be receiving the benefits of this trending and growing marketing medium.
Why Businesses Fear Tackling Social Media
There are many reasons that businesses fear the use of social media. They have heard horror stories where businesses are ripped apart on social media, which is a viable concern. However, these instances are few and over sensationalized. Feedback from your customers can be a great management tool when used wisely and will give you insight into your business from your customers and clients that can help you serve them better.
Facebook, Twitter and blogging are free but do require time for maintenance and the right knowledge to use it to its fullest capacity. You may already have someone on your team that can take on this project and make it work well for your business. If so, the cost of implementing social media in your small business will only require a few hours of their time per week with no other costs involved to get this program rolling and showing success.
Ultimately, don’t be afraid to implement a social media strategy into your business plan. The return on investment will pleasantly surprise you as business is driven to your door. Marketing ROI is often difficult to measure and many think that social media is random without the ability to measure its performance and effect on your marketing. That is definitely not true. Due to the nature of electronic media, social media is one of the most easily measured forms of marketing.
Therefore, the fear that social media will not be of benefit to you and your business is unfounded from this perspective. Inbound marketing can be a boon to your business and will give you a public presence like one you have never had. Instead of you looking for customers, they are looking for you.
How You Can Implement Social Media
If you don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account, open one and familiarize yourself with the platform. Also, look at how others are using these platforms to market their businesses. You will see how easy it is to use and in no time will master the medium, making it work for your business in a positive, profitable way. You will learn from using Facebook and Twitter, as well as when blogging, that like-minded people will gravitate to your business and what it has to offer.
Aside from Facebook and Twitter, there are a host of other platforms that you can utilize. Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Youtube are all social media channels that have become immensely popular and have helped companies reach their audience in creative and even unconventional ways. So how do you decide which outlet is best for you? Instagram is great for eye-catching images and short videos whereas Youtube is great for long-form content and really connecting with your audience. Determine what your goals are and choose the platform that you think would best suit your marketing needs.
If you think of these mediums as customer service platforms that can inform your customers, it is easier to get your head around it. Social media provides you with the opportunity to really drive the conversation that people will have with your brand. Not only does it give you a method of marketing that can send your information to thousands of people in just a few seconds, it also allows you to practice social media customer care and create a positive and lasting relationship with your customers.
Drive Business to Your Door
With the implementation of social media, you can easily drive business to your door. Instead of beating the bushes for your next group of customers, put the word on the street with social media and they will come to you. Just remember, be creative.
You are not the only one with a fear of social media. However, if you want to reap the rewards of this revolutionary form of marketing with social media, you need to get beyond your fears and get started. If you have a talent for writing, start a blog that keeps your current clientele informed, while at the same time enticing newcomers.
If you don’t already have a blog on your website, or if you don’t have a website, get one as soon as possible. The small cost can be worth the return. The possibilities are endless with social media when used with your current marketing plan. You might find that it works so well that you can cut your current marketing budget.