“I run an established business already, so why do I need to be on Social Media?”
I hear this all the time – companies who have been around for a long time and feel they are securely established do not always see the value in joining the bandwagon (brandwagon, if you will).
I get it – it’s easy to associate social media with that thing the kids are always doing when they’re spending hours staring at screens and ruining their posture. But isn’t that exactly why you would want to be there?
Oreo has 853,000 Twitter followers
Dove has 195,000 Twitter followers
Burberry has 17M Facebook followers
GoPro has 13.1M Instagram followers, and
National Geographic has a whopping 81.6M Instagram followers!
It think it’s fair to say none of these companies ‘needed’ social media, but recognized the impact it could have on bringing their brand to even more people globally.
So here it is: 3 big reasons to get your business on social
Branding 101: Whether you know it or not and whether it was planned or not, your company has a brand (hint: if not – call us). Every day, we gravitate towards people who share similar values as ourselves, whether it’s sports, environmental sustainability, animals, or Justin Trudeau’s socks. Likewise, people on social media will connect with companies that demonstrate the values they see within themselves. Remember when Oreo sent out this tweet when the power went out during the Super Bowl? This spur-of-the-moment post on social media was talked about much longer than any of the high-cost TV ads that ran.
A clear brand that resonates with consumers is what makes them want to be a part of your company, and what better way than to get on social media (where your current and potential customers are) and promote yourself and what you stand for? After all, social media is where people go to connect, and engage (hence, “social”) with like minded people and businesses.
Get to know your customers: On the flip side of that coin, you want to get to know your customers as much as they want to get to know you. The nature of social media allows you to not only see how your clients (current and potential) interact with your content, but with everyone else’s content, too. You should be paying attention to the things that grab their attention even if they don’t relate directly to your business or the product you’re selling. Who knew the Internet would find screaming goats so funny? Geico incorporated the trend into an ad, and Arby’s tweeted about Pharrell Williams’ hat (Pepsi even Retweeted it).
When a customer walks into your store, you may be able to make some basic judgements about their demographic, what their needs are, and maybe whether or not they will come back for another cup of coffee. On social media, you can find out much more about not just their interests, but the interests of the general public and what current trends are. Social networks have incorporated ‘Hashtags’ – links that automatically compile all mentions of a topic. This lets you instantly see what is trending, who is talking about it, and lets you zero in on a target audience with defined content. Social media can help you decide whether to feature a new latte (unicorn frappacino, anyone?) or skip the trend.
The more you understand your client’s needs, the easier it is to connect with them, and the more likely it is they will keep coming back.
Be a part of the conversation: Let’s imagine your business is a very successful producer of children’s products, and you’ve recently launched an accessory for your popular stroller. You pride yourself on customer service, and all of your staff are trained to make sure no one leaves your stores unhappy. But what happens if someone (Let’s call her Lucy) orders that new accessory online, and it arrives broken? Lucy is unable to get through to your customer service reps, and gives up, frustrated, and goes to the park with her kids, where she tells her friends that the product is overrated, customer service was non-existent, and she won’t purchase from your company again. Chances are, her friends won’t either.
I know what you’re thinking – if you were at the park, or if she had come into a store, then problem solved! You could speak to her, offer her a new product, and a gift card for her troubles. But you can’t fix what you don’t know about, right?
What if instead of going to the park, Lucy picked up her smart-phone and tweeted about it instead? Her friends see it, and retweet it, because they also have friends with children who might purchase the product. Soon, many more than just Lucy’s close friends are aware of the broken product and perceived lack of customer service. Did you know that in 2017, Twitter has 328 million active monthly users and Facebook has 2 billion?!! Not only that, but Lucy used a popular hashtag in her message, which caught the attention of your competitor. While there was no response to Lucy from your company, your competitor in turn offers Lucy a gift card for their store (in front of the whole world).
It might not be possible for you to be at every park across the country, but it is possible (and free!) for you to be on social media. If you’re on site, so to speak, you can take opportunity to show not only that you do care about Lucy’s problem, but that you will go above and beyond to make things right.
Aside from being able to monitor and participate in the conversations (the good, the bad, and the neutral), many companies have a social media account specifically for customer service. Example: Nike has @NikeSupport, and Xbox manages @XboxSupport.
Bonus Tip: Read Gary Vaynerchuk’s The Thank You Economy. This book will show you how to go beyond good customer service, and why social media is the key to successfully demonstrating that you do.