By now most companies have gotten the memo that social media is an excellent and powerful tool to help promote and grow your small business. But there are many companies that, for one reason or another, have been slow to jump on the social media bandwagon.
Brands that haven’t made the plunge may wonder — is it really worth it? While others who have been engaged in social media are starting to wonder if it’s really worthwhile. After all, you’ve likely heard some rumblings that social media is quickly becoming irrelevant.
Some social media naysayers point to the exodus of young people from Facebook as one indicator that social media is on the way out. But Facebook is just one social platform (and the last time we checked … Facebook is far from dead. And while it is true that social media engagement is only one piece of a larger marketing puzzle, it is still an important piece. That being said, it would be huge a mistake to remove social from your branding arsenal.
Social Media Matters
If you’re still not convinced, here are four compelling reasons why social media still matters when it comes to branding.
Social media keeps you relevant.
The right kind of visibility is necessary for brand recall. You can’t rely on social media alone to remain visible to customers and prospects, of course, but social media can supplement and reinforce branding efforts on your company website, company blog, email newsletters, etc. And since many small businesses can’t afford to advertise in print and broadcast media, online marketing provides a more economical solution. While many people may see online ads as an annoyance, nonetheless they are willing to engage with a compelling Facebook post, an inspirational Instagram photo, or a well-timed tweet.
Social media builds brand equity.
When managing social media efforts it is important to find that elusive sweet spot between under and over-exposure. Also keep in mind that message consistency is critical. Since social is all about brand recall, and since there are millions of brands competing for your customers’ attention, make engagement easy. This means all of your social media accounts should have a consistent “look and feel.” Your brand colors, logo, and even your online handles should be the same across all social platforms. Lastly, don’t forget to keep your brand personality consistent from one social site to another.
Social media makes your brand accessible.
Social media offers a unique platform to interact with customers, perhaps even in real-time. When customers feel you are listening to their praises and complaints, by being responsive to their needs, they build emotional connections with your brand. And that’s good for business.
Social media puts a human face on your company.
A properly orchestrated social media campaign can showcase your company’s individuality – its “human” side – while subtly promoting your brand. Adding a layer of humanity makes customers feel better about you and your brand. As Bryan Kramer, a Social Business Strategist and CEO of PureMatter, explains: there is no more B2B or B2C: there is only human to human (H2H). Kramer asserts, “We all need to think like the consumers we are, putting ourselves in the mindset of the buyer instead of trying to speak such an intensely sophisticated language full of acronyms and big words, in order to sound smarter.” That being said, social media is the perfect channel to develop more H2H relationships.
The advantages of social media are undeniable. However, it is important to remember that many customers don’t make instant buying decisions. Consider the length of your sales cycle, and build in communications that help to reinforce your value proposition. When properly used, social media can help make you a brand to be remembered.
Rebecca Gray is writing on behalf of Backgroundchecks.org, a pre-employment screening and background checking company.
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