Looking at the way how all things social media have infiltrated our lives, from receiving transaction updates via email to shopping and having queries answered on Facebook, from connecting with a potential customer on LinkedIn to learning to play the ukulele on Youtube, is it not compelling enough to bring your business to social media? Social media marketing brings your business and product to your customers, the right content at the right time, through the right channel.
Figures and Findings on Digital
To substantiate how being social media is becoming a way of life, a 2016 Digital report by wearesocial, shows that more 50% of the Malaysia’s population are connected through digital and close to 59% of Malaysians are active social media users and. The fast growth from 2015 to 2016 indicates how “connectivity is becoming the norm”.
People are connected to everything and expect everything to be. The internet has grown beyond being an information portal, into the “electricity” of our lives, linking us to people and things we are interested in. As a SMB, it is important to consider how this connectivity and being social, connecting with people on a personal basis, can help you improve your business.
Being Customer Centric is the Heart of being Social
High levels of connectivity have given rise to new buyers’ journey. Customers today tend to be savvier, have done their research on the internet to diagnose their problem, understand possible solutions and likely have shortlisted some options, before they come to you.
Gone are the days of marketer-centric tactics such as cold calls or cold emails. Today’s marketing has to be customer-centric, attracting customers by providing value at each stage of the buyers’ journey and even before the first purchase is made.
Social Media Presence Reduces Marketing Costs and Improves Sales
According to Hubspot, 84% of marketers whom they have surveyed found as little as six hours of effort per week enough to generate increased traffic. Break it down; it can be just an hour a day to develop your strategy and content. Close to 50% of those who spend at least six hours per week noted a reduction in marketing costs and 74% of those who spend more than 40 hours per week earn new businesses, just by being social.
Making the world a happier place, one burger at a time! TheBurgerLab, known for its charcoal “black” burgers, was sold out within three hours of their official opening! So how were they known before they were even launched? It is through Social Media.
While undergoing research and testing at the Red Beanbag Restaurant, TheBurgerLab turned to social media when they found that word-of mouth from satisfied customers brought about new awareness. The founders realised to build a brand, an estimate of RM200,000 – RM250,000 was needed so they decided on viral marketing, to get people to talk about their black buns. Through social media, not only did they build awareness, they could communicate and get feedback from their customers. When social media fans wanted to know where to get the “black” burgers, the founders knew they were ready for a permanent shop. And now, being “Insta-ready” is part of the protocol, when they take extra care in the presentation of the burgers.
Compared to traditional forms of advertising, paid advertising in social channels are relatively more affordable. They are trackable; giving you insights to customers’ profiles, conversion rates and allows you to manage ad budgets more effectively.
As an SMB with stretched resources, it is important to spend wisely and make every dollar count.
Social Media Builds Brand Recognition and Loyalty
Social networks are great platforms for you to share meaningful content and to build the personal connection. Having a presence in multiple networks makes your brand familiar, recognisable and more accessible for potential customers to engage with.
Having more followers tend to improve trust and credibility – social proof. As such, just by building followers in social media can improve conversion rates.
Presence on social networks, through sharing whitepapers, research and reports also give you a chance to develop brand authority, making your brand top of mind recall and the go-to brand to solve a particular problem.
Social Interaction with customers also demonstrates good faith.
During the crisis of the lost plane, AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes took to Twitter to update the airlines’ work in investigation and recovery.
Rather than relying only on formal announcements, he gives timely updates on progress and humanises the AirAsia brand by sharing his thoughts and showing gratitude to this staff, in the midst of the crisis. The result? 2 major crises in a year and the company is still going strong.
Without the following, recognition and loyalty of your customers will your SMB be able to weather through crises and emerge stronger?
Being Social Allows for Richer Customer Experience
Every interaction you have with your customer demonstrates your level of customer service. Bringing this onto the social media platform, you demonstrate your customer service on a much wider scale. When a customer compliments you on Facebook, do you thank them and perhaps take the chance to upsell other products? Or when a customer complains on Twitter, do you respond quickly to resolve the issue? Not just that one customer, but other customers, potential customers and even potential investors and partners can see how much you care.
The replies from Skyscanner were injected with an appropriate amount of humour and included useful information about what to do in Bangkok. Followers enjoyed the friendly banter so much, they started engaging in this conversation too; some others tried the search for themselves to experience that glitch. Just like that, Skyscanner turned a sarcastic comment into a social media win!
Social listening through social media allows you to gain valuable information about your customers so you can tweak or improve your product or services to provide a better customer experience. It also helps you plan and measure content, channels and promotions, so you can find the perfect combination that generates the most sales.
The Longer You Take to Start, The Faster You Will Get Left Behind
Social media is about relationship building and it can grow quickly as followers engage and share it with their friends, so the sooner you start, the sooner you build your followers and the sooner you get to reap the benefits.
Don’t forget about your competition, who are most likely already involved in social media. Since it is the same base of customers, that means your potential traffic and conversions are being poached. If they are not, that’s more reason to get started on the open field.
Lastly, there really is not much to lose by being social; just six hours a week with minimal ad dollars is all there is to start. But the opportunity costs of not being social can mean losing out on a large customer base, low and expensive conversions rates, low brand loyalty and recognition and lower sales. Can you afford not to be on social?
There is a myriad of benefits for your business being social – know anymore that we didn’t list out here yet? Tell us in ‘Share Your Juices’! Or subscribe to TheBizJuice now to receive more awesome business tips!