To the unfamiliar, social media probably looks like a vast wasteland of memes, chatter, and little else. After all, when all your time is wrapped up in running your business, any time spent scrolling through your smartphone probably seems entirely frivolous. While no serious person will argue that it’s 100 percent beneficial to the world, a social media presence for your company can provide some major benefits. If you choose to ignore that fact, you’d better hope your competition does as well.
Call it stubbornness or a generation gap, but any and all kind of businesses neglect social media at their own peril. Even if you’re strictly B2B, so much networking occurs online that you’re literally giving up money by refusing to participate. A simple LinkedIn profile goes a long way towards making new connections and staying top of mind in your industry. Of course, that shouldn’t be the end of your social media implementation.
Creating a few profiles might feel like enough, but without a strategy on how to use them you’re still lost in the woods. A social media strategy isn’t just about advertisement; it allows you to fully interact with and learn from your audience and potential partners, what they’re into, and how to best tailor your services to suit their needs. Advanced analytics and metrics have come a long way in the last decade or so, and through social media you’ll be able to develop a surprisingly detailed picture of your average customer and what you can do for them.
Don’t want to take my word for it? 70 percent of Americans are on at least one social networking site, and 71 percent who have had a positive interaction with a brand on social media are likely to recommend it to friends and family. Exposure matters, too. Over 79 percent of the US is on social media, and familiarity with brands through their online presence is how you’ll stay a go-to in your industry.
The audience is out there, willing to engage if the messaging is done right. Americans now spend nearly as much time on social media as they do watching television, and there’s little reason to think this is a passing fad. The era of full connectivity is well underway, and even the old guard will do well to get on board.
Social media profiles will also work wonders for your Google results, so when the interested want to learn more about your business, they’ll be finding channels you designed and approved, not irrelevant or unhelpful messaging. A well-managed profile ranks much higher in searches than a dormant one (and of course, a nonexistent one), so staying connected is how today’s success stories stay on top. Even if your business is entirely offline, you can rest assured that your customers are not.
It’s about much more than being cutting-edge. If you haven’t realized it already, social media is the lifeblood of today’s commercial landscape. If you’re still thinking of it as a frivolous diversion for teenagers and college kids, expect to fall behind the industry leaders who don’t think that way. Take the time to build your online presence, and see that spreading your social wings is the simplest way to help your company reach new heights.