By the end of 2016 Facebook reported that it had over 1.8 billion users worldwide, a huge audience and a potential goldmine for your business. Whatever industry you are in, social media has changed the way you need to market your products and services.
The number of people who engage with an online community of some sort, either through blogs and forums or large social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn is growing everyday. It is now more common than not for a consumer to be a member of some form of online community. Add to this the hundreds of millions of people who communicate via Twitter and those that share links via Pinterest, share photos on Instagram or share content via bookmarking sites and you see how integral social media is to everyday life. It is this fact that describes just how important social media should be to your business.
Our individual reasons for using social networks and social sharing sites vary, however, what is present across all activities is the sharing of information in some form. We post status updates about what we are buying, we check-in to shops and pubs, we post photos of our meals. As savvy online consumers we also now look to our peers to find out about products, services and companies that they use and like. We also share stories of times a product or brand has failed us and our friends share in our experience and avoid making the same mistake by avoiding the same brands. We listen to people’s views about products and we actively seek information from other consumers on blogs and forums before we buy things. It is social media that allows us to do this because social media has created a platform from which we can all share our thoughts, feelings and recommendations. It is precisely because social media has put consumers in control of content that social media becomes an important consideration for companies that wish to manage their reputations and encourage interaction from consumers.
Imagine you make cakes for a living. Your cakes are the best, chocolate muffins with oozing centres, crisp buttery pastries filled with cream, you get the idea. Now imagine a room full of one thousand hungry people all talking to each other about how hungry they are and how they can’t wait for lunch. If you send someone out into that room and hand out five cakes to five random people with a message that more cakes are available outside, what will happen? Those five people will devour their cake, the ten people stood around each of the lucky cake recipients will see what’s happening and want one of their own. Those fifty onlookers will start prancing around on tiptoes looking for the exit and asking other people around them whether they know where the cake shop is. Suddenly, in vast waves, people are swept up in the furore and before you know it everyone in the room is jostling for the exit to go and buy a cake from you.
BUT. Imagine you made pretty good cakes, okay quality but not perfect. You have lots of happy customers but you have also had a few complaints over the years. Imagine you repeated the process above with your pastries and whilst four people enjoy their cake, one of the recipients did not like it at all. You would still create a furore, however, rather than a 1,000 hungry people looking for more cakes you would have just 400 interested people because 200 people in the room have heard rumours that your cakes are bad. Those 200 have discussed this with people that had previously only heard good things about your cakes and were initially interested in buying one. They have been dissuaded.
The point is, the room of people in this example is your target market, furthermore, this room represents all of your potential customers using Facebook and Twitter right now. These people are real and they have naturally congregated in virtual locations, talking to each other, sharing photos, stories and experiences. Most of your customers, both existing and future ones, are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other blogs talking about the products and services they buy. Are they talking about you? What are they saying? Your business needs to engage with people when they are talking about you, you need to listen to what they are saying, you need to make allies of them, you need to encourage them to talk positively about your offering. You need to control the conversation.
We can assist you in numerous ways from setting up a fully branded WordPress blog, creating a Facebook page for your brand and running competitions, setting up a Twitter profile and getting you followers, posting to Instagram, running discussions on LinkedIn and much more. We can handle everything for you from the setup of accounts and profiles if you don’t already have them to the copywriting, image editing and management of the channels each month. What’s more, each of our clients has a different requirement and you will to. You may just want a social media presence to support SEO strategy meaning a lower level of interaction and content creation each month. Alternatively you may see Facebook as a sales channel for you, bringing in new customers and actively contributing to sales. You tell us how you want to use social media by creating a completely bespoke project yourself online. You can tell us how many Tweets to send a month, how many Facebook posts, whether you want us to run competitions. You have complete control over the campaign size and cost and you can start building your project online and be live within just 3 hours!