The Danger Of Not Using Social Media Marketing For Your Business
It's 2016 and at the risk of sounding too preachy, it's about time your business jumps onto the digital marketing bandwagon. If there was ever a time to save up your remaining pennies to invest in the future of your business, it is now.
If you haven't had a chance to read any articles describing in detail the huge benefits within social media marketing, you've been living under a rock. 2016 has seen big changes in not only how these social media platforms are paving the way for advertisers, but also in how advertisers are changing their tactics in order to appeal to their target demos.
Getting Left In The Dust
Every business owner's worst nightmare is being forgotten. Having a brick and mortar shop while sitting behind the register, looking outside as one customer after another pass by to walk into the newer and hipper version of your business would be a terrible feeling to experience. That's a reality for a lot of new small businesses. You may ask yourself, "But what is that newer, hipper business doing that I'm not?" The answer is that they are connecting with their customers. Now, it's up to you to find out how, but the easiest method is to investigate online. What does their website look like? What social media channels are they using? Do they have a blog? Are they open later than us? These are all questions that you should regularly ask yourself. In order to be a more efficient business, you need to get into your competitor's head, because if you know what they are thinking, then you can always stay one step ahead of them.
Not Understanding Your Audience
Okay, you may think you know your customers, but how well do you really know them? Since my business is largely based online, I know everything about my audience, from their search habits, their love of movies and TV, age, and spending habits. If you are not set up online and taking a close look at your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram analytics then you are sorely missing out.
Before I started my business, I created a customer persona and assumed that a typical customer would likely be middle-aged, B2B oriented, business-minded, and local to my region of Washington, D.C. Boy, was I wrong! Once I started getting a good number of clicks on my website and regular engagement through Twitter and Facebook, it was easy to see that my audience was about 10 years younger, predominately male, and largely from California and London. What, what, what?!?!? How the hell did that happen? Well, instead of fighting against it, I rolled with it and saw my KPI's increase. I got better engagement, more likes, more comments, and way more Pageviews to my blog.
So, the lesson to be learned here is that no matter what you think your demographic is going to be, it may be the total opposite, but it the next step you take that determines your success. @@Are you going to appeal to the audience you have or the audience you want to have?@@
The Entire World Is Mobile, so why aren't you
I think my Mom is the last person in the western hemisphere still holding on to her beloved flip phone. In some circles, she would probably be considered a hipster and have a statue erected in her honor. To the rest of the world, she probably appears out of touch and the reason is because the number of mobile social media users in 2016 has reached an unbelievable 283 million! That means there are 283 million people that you could potentially reach through social media marketing. To think that emails, mailers, and print-out coupons are going to cut the mustard in this day and age is just naive.
The new challenge for businesses of all sizes is to create a story. Yes, a story! The market, especially Millenials, do not want to be sold to. Oh no, quite the contrary! They want to feel like they are part of a community. A community that you've created through your message that is provided by your unique voice. For example, Dollar Shave Club just sold their company to Unilever for $1 billion dollars! How did they do it? They created super creative and humorous videos that appealed to their target demographic. Their first ad was posted on YouTube in 2012 and within 24 hours they had 12,000 orders. They found a niche that was so unique and created a video that was so shareable that their success almost seemed predetermined. Understand that you need to find your voice and within that voice your tone needs to resonate across all social media channels in order to be a big success. If you don't know how to craft and interesting story that people will want to read, then hire someone who can...and fast!
Putting Your Money Where It Matters Most
I think the biggest mistake I see businesses make is putting money into aspects of digital marketing that don't fit their business goals and then agonizing over the results. Let's be real clear here, do not invest money in online advertising if you don't know what you're doing because it is a money pit. I promise you that you won't see the results you want if you try to teach yourself Google Adwords in 45 minutes. It just can't happen. I wouldn't try to become a bartender after watching some "How-To Bartend" videos on YouTube so why would you even try to pretend you know what you're doing with online advertising unless you have a solid background in it. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just trying to protect you from yourself. Do not toss money into advertising unless you have someone knowledgeable enough to guide you.
For example, I've failed time and time again with advertising online. But through all of my failures, I've learned what works best for my business and at this given time Google Adwords is giving me far and beyond the best ROI. The reason is simple, I don't have a solid enough following yet on Facebook to make a dent in my website conversions and Twitter is a platform where I find way more ROI in organic reach than paid. With that being said, once I run out of money to invest in Google Adwords, I may have to readjust my approach, but until then I'm going to stick with it. Acknowledging that there is no one-size-fits-all mentality in social media marketing makes it easier to roll with the punches and create a custom fit marketing campaign.
Out of sight, Out of Mind
This kind of goes hand in hand with being left in the dust, but the difference is that if you have no social media presence in this day and age, you basically don't exist. The easiest way to resolve this is to have a mobile friendly website and a contact email or phone number. Sounds easy enough, right? You wouldn't believe how many companies I email, simply to inform them that they would bring in more business if they just did some simple website construction. Consumers don't have patience for sloppy or slow loading websites anymore.
Also, for the love of God, please register your company on Google Business so people can find you! It will also help with your search rankings online if someone were to try to find your business.
Finally, don't have an account for every social media platform if you can't handle updating it regularly! Even the biggest companies like Coca-Cola and General Electric have teams of people for each platform. Don't stretch yourself so thin where you're going out of your mind trying to keep up. It's just not feasible. @@Stick to one or two platforms, do them well, and eventually, you will build a following.@@ From there you can open up to new platforms and convert your followers to like your other channels, but for now just do 1 or 2 and do them right.
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