I have always preached the importance of social media, and the importance of businesses being on social media. I love talking to people about social media, and why they should be more involved with it, and offering my services when they're not in a situation to do so. But more often than not, I'm met with "I post photos on Facebook, I think we're okay," "We don't need Instagram," or, my favourite, "Sure, here's the password, just do the thing. It shouldn't take long, right?"
Whilst traditional marketing and advertising still does wonders for companies, and they're still essential in the long-term profits of a company, it is vital that companies identify a major player in the marketing and advertising of brands. With Australians becoming more and more involved in social media, currently spending over 12 hours a week on some form of social media (Sensis, 2016), businesses that don't prioritise their brands on social media platforms are severely tarnishing their image, and limiting their overall reach.
Don't get me wrong, there are still demographics that aren't as invested in social media as the expected 18-35 year olds, but whether they are grandmas with grandchildren setting up their Facebook profiles, or Baby Boomers still adamant that Twitter is the only form of social media, there's a way to reach almost your entire audience in one way or another.
So, why should you invest in social media?
- Social media allows you to have a conversation with your audience. I will always stand by the importance of conversation, and how that can hugely benefit your business. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and any other platform has been made for one purpose - to be social. To be social, one must converse. Conversation opens a platform for you to engage with your customers, ask them what they want, and not just tell them what you can do for them.
- Social media encourages community. When people feel like they are in a community, or a part of an exclusive group of people, they are more inclined to engage, converse, and encourage their friends to do the same. This is key to including your customers, and making them feel like they are a part of something special.
- Social media allows sharing. Whether it be B2B, or your customers sharing your products, social media makes it as simple as pressing a button, and then *click* your reach expands to a whole new database. By posting quality content, and giving consumers what they want, you encourage them to share their experiences with their networks, immediately reaching an audience which would be a lot more difficult for you to do on your own.
- Social media gives you a personalised touch. Traditional media simply cannot offer the ability to give your brand a voice or personality. Sure you could do it strategically, but nothing in comparison to the scale you could on social media. Social media allows your customers to that relatable connection with your brand 'personality', because social media allows your customers to see that there are real people behind your brand - it's not just a product.
People strive to feel connected, to relate, and to be a part of a community of likeminded individuals, and social media can give brands and companies an easy platform to meet those basic human needs. It's not rocket science, it's simply a game of listening, conversing, and connecting with your customers.