As 2012 gets underway, many business owners are looking to their marketing efforts with one question in mind. How can 2012 be a better year? This question is always answered with better sales, regardless of the product or service that your business is about. Sales increase when there is better understanding of the value you provide and when trust is present. Consumers want to know if they can trust you, your service, or your product, and they want to know if they can trust that their purchase is going to be worth it.
So, backing into this, better profits come from better sales which come from increased value and trust. If your product is out-of-this-world, but no one trusts you, you will not sell it. It’s always going to come down to the value you provide and the trust you’ve earned. That’s where social media does its finest work. Creating value and fostering trust are what social media are all about – if the necessary time and commitment go into establishing that valuable presence. Here are six benefits to doing that using social media.
1. Social media allows you to tell your story. Whatever it is that is unique about your product or service can be highlighted through social media. Why you want to help others with your product is as important as the changes they’ll see when they buy it. Through social media, you have a platform to be open, honest, and share passions that are unique to your business.
2. Social media allows you to build a community. This might be a community of supporters, of like-minded business owners, referral partners, customers, friends, etc. A community of people who enjoy sharing information about your services, as well as other topics that might come up, will become a strong community over time. They will become repeat customers, friends, and perhaps community leaders with whom you share other passions.
3. Through social media you can network faster! Imagine an always open networking event where you meet others who have interesting businesses or where you can have conversations about your business, freely, openly, and with business in mind. You don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t have to dress up, you don’t have to have the right brochures, etc. Social media allows you to keep your business open around the clock and to engage with others who are doing the same.
4. Because of social media you can create faster conversions. That doesn’t necessarily mean sales, but it might. Social media allows others to get to know you and see what you’re all about. They may not buy from you right away, but they will likely remember you when they need your product or service. You will not be a stranger to them anymore, but instead, you’ll be someone they’ve known for a while. They may not need your product, but they may know someone who does. This kind of referral is a powerful referral, and with a long-term presence on social media channels, you are going to need less time to explain who you are and what you do.
5. Social media allows you to be found more easily. With an active presence on social media channels, you may see an increase in your search engine results. Search engines are now taking into account posts to Facebook, Twitter, and others like them. If you are regularly engaging and posting to social media channels, you are actually creating links for your business that search engines can pick up.
6. Social media allows you to become a relational business. It’s impossible to talk only about your products or services over time. You’ll need to be more interested in meeting the needs of your fans/friends. The shift moves from your topics of conversation to those of your customers, your fans, your friends, etc. This will keep you focused on quality and integrity, and that will go a long way toward building your value and trustworthiness.
Bonus Reason – One final thought on social media…Social media allows you to become a thought leader. A thought leader is one who inspires others and shares freely. Thought leadership is about new ideas on how to grow and build in such a way that everyone benefits. Through social media, you can share ideas that spread. You can increase your own knowledge by striving to be more helpful to others and when you share these new ideas, the market you serve is enriched. Ideas shared in this way can’t help but be shared by others, and over time, your role can grow from a competent business leader to a thought-leader of others.
Which of these reasons seems the most beneficial for your business?