By: Ericka Heligman
I think we can all safely say in our lives we have heard our parents say the following phrase: “when I was kid…..” Usually, it was followed by something that they didn’t have, they couldn’t afford, or how much less expensive something was during their younger years. For example, “When I was kid gas was only $.53 a gallon,” or “When I was your age, we didn’t have cars. We had to ride dinosaurs to work.” Moreover, I am sure one day, I will be doing the same things to my kids, except I will be saying, “, “You know when I was in elementary school, we didn’t even have cell phones.” Well, that’s the funny thing about the times. They are always changing.
When it comes to anything in life- gas prices, the cost of groceries, even the use of technology, as a business owner, you either need to change with the times or you will get left behind. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like using a cell phone or having to use social media, if you want to stay current, you have to do what everyone else is doing. While, most people will tell you to be your own person, when it comes to online advertising, I am going to say that’s wrong. You should be doing what everyone else is doing. That’s why nowadays the concept of social media is so important. In the last few years, the need for social media has grown exponentially. I’m going to tell you a few reasons as to why it’s so important and why if your business isn’t utilizing it, you need to change your ways immediately.
Brand Awareness and Loyalty: Have you ever watched the pilot of a new TV show and fell in love? You hope the show becomes an instant success so that it doesn’t get cancelled. You find that there’s a certain excitement when anyone tells you that they too watch the show. You feel a connection to the show and feel an inherit need for it to be successful for your own sake and everyone else who hasn’t gotten to enjoy your new show yet. It’s very similar with social media. This gives your customer base an opportunity to grow with your business. There is a sense of community that you can build with your audience by having them watching your day to day business activities through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. It gives them a personal connection to your business and helps create a loyalty, because in their mind they will always remember you over their competition.
Reach: When you purchase a commercial or print ad, you are spending a ton of money on something that you hope gets seen. For commercials, what time of day are you airing? Are people just going to fast forward through your ads? As far as print goes, it’s on the outs. People aren’t really paying for print advertising. However, it’s free to make a Facebook fan page. Facebook alone has 1.2 billion active users each month. It said that an average person spends 31 minutes on Facebook each day. So, whether or not you like Facebook, if that’s where your customer base is, that’s what you should be doing.
It’s what your competition is doing: It doesn’t matter how you feel about social media. At the end of the day, if this is what your competition is doing, it’s what you need to be doing. You have to find a way to compete and stay in the game. I don’t care if you are a mom and pop shop with a loyal customer base, there is always more customers to be had. If they aren’t going to your business, they are going to someone else’s. You have to play the game to stay in the game.
Cost Effective: Yes, you can buy advertising options on Facebook, Snapchat, Google, etc., but you don’t have to. How much does it cost you to make a Facebook fan page? How much time does it take you to make a tweet? The ROI is huge.
Drive Traffic to Your Website: With one click of a button, your potential customer is taken from social media to your website where they can make an eventual purchase, and isn’t that the real goal?
I am not going to scold you. I can’t tell you what to do, but I will say in today’s day and age, there really is no excuse to not be utilizing this type of business practice. We live in a visual society. People want to look at things they can relate to and that’s why social media is so important. It’s a way to connect with your clients on a platform that didn’t even exist five years ago. The best part is that, you don’t have to be a genius to figure out how to use it! Contact us today with any questions you might have on how you can start expanding your business for pennies on the dollar.