Business truth - social media isn't everything.
By Adele Pargeter @ Yellow Canary
Does your business have a social media presence? Do you place all of your marketing efforts on creating great social media content and imagery to help drive business? Well, you shouldn’t. There is certainly loads of merit and research that suggests a strong social media presence will drive growth, but I’m here to tell you it isn’t everything. In fact, there’s a lot more you need to do, to grow and sustain your business.
Starting with a business website. If you don’t have one, it’s time you did. A website is one of the first places people go to when researching products and services. If you’re not there, how will they find you? And while you might be thinking you don’t need one, all the marketing research out there, suggests you do.
Think of your business website like any shop front. People can either walk right past or stop and hang around. With great SEO, informative and practical content, positive reviews and testimonials, a current blog and if you’re selling products, then likely an online shop, people will choose to stop. As they navigate your site, they’re learning loads about you and even more about what you offer.
A great social media presence might result in hundreds or thousands of followers, but this doesn’t mean anything if they don’t covert to sales. A good website with up to date and current content will keep people coming back for more. If you run a local gym, and specialise in personal training, why not include a blog on your website that provides prospective clients (and current clients) with informative articles on health and fitness.
This not only increases your SEO, but also significantly helps develop your brand authority.
Creating ongoing and engaging blog posts are a fabulous way to maintain website traffic and increase brand exposure (read my post on blog writing). By all means, utilise the strength of your social media presence by marketing your blog posts effectively via your platforms and while you’re at it, don’t forget to consider email marketing and weekly newsletters as well.
And while social media has a fabulous way of connecting us with other like-minded businesses in our industry, it isn’t always the best way to develop strong and effective local connections. If you’re a small business hoping to drive business in your local area, there is no better way than face-to-face contact. Of course, you should go ahead and utilise your social media efforts to start your local conversations, but don’t hold back on good old-fashioned face-to-face contact.
And at the end of the day, nothing sells a brand more, than great work! You could have the best website and an incredible social media presence and following, but if your work or your products fail to meet a client’s expectations, success won’t follow. Your brand is not solely based on your online presence, but also on the tangible work that you do and what you offer. If these continually disappoint, it’s very hard to build success.
The nature of the online world and technological advancements has meant that customer service has significantly diminished. Face-to-face interactions during transactions are fewer and self-service check outs, dime a dozen. And while some people aren’t grieving the loss of the grumpy cashier, I’m left wondering if people even know what great customer service is anymore.
If you’re offering online products, my advice to you is to offer timely efficient transactions with a touch of ‘personal’. I’ve read some amazing reviews from customers who have received products online and have opened the product to find a small note inside thanking them for their purchase. This personal touch is awesome customer service. This personal touch will be remembered. We all need to remember that great customer service never really ends, and that after care is critical for building a good reputation.
I’m not going to tell you that you don’t need social media for your business, because that wouldn’t be true. In fact, it couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m here to reiterate the importance of fostering an integrated marketing approach. A way of doing business that ensures all elements of your brand work together. That one is not nurtured more than another and that you utilise the strengths of all of your marketing tools. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security believing that a strong social media presence means you’re destined for success. Because the truth is, it is only when everything works together that true success can be felt.