There is no denying that social media has its benefits. Where else can you connect with like minded individuals with little effort? But, from a business point of view – what benefits are there to be social?
Social media is cost-effective:
Yes, social media is a cost-effective tool (in fact it is often free to sign up), however you must consider the costs involved in actually managing your social media pages. Calculate the time your staff will need to spend on the pages. At a minimum, staff will spend about 30-45 minutes a day generating/updating content. Can you afford this cost or could this time be better spent?
Social media helps with rankings:
Yes, this is true. But, again if people come to your social media pages and see no content, do you think they will be inclined to visit your website? If you don’t have the time to truly manage your social media pages, then look at ensuring that products owned by Google are updated (this includes, but is not limited to):
- Create a Google Plus account
- Ensure your Google Places are up-to-date
- Comment on youtube videos or provide reviews using your Google Plus account details
By being compliant with Google, you are showing that you are a credible source and in turn Google will view your website in a more positive light.
Also, the best way to improve rankings is through search engine optimisation strategies, such as uploading details to free business directories. This takes time, but once you have completed a listing you don’t need to constantly update it like with social media. Aim to complete a few listings a week and you will be surprised by the improvement in your search engine rankings (don’t have the time? Vent2Me provides a range of cost effective SEO solutions).
Facebook is dying:
Considering there are 1.1 billion users on Facebook, it’s no surprise that its growth is declining. However, that is not to say that it’s still not a powerful social media tool. In Australia, Facebook is by far the most popular social media tool, with 95% of all social media users using it as their main tool.
So if you do want to use social media and have the time to invest in it, Facebook is still a valuable asset.
Social media helps me connect with customers:
The average social media user has 258 friends/fans/followers so social media can help you connect with customers. However, to do so you need content that is interesting and engaging. Furthermore, research published in the Yellow Social Media Report 2013 showed that 1 in 5 Australian users researched a purchase and 58% went on to make a purchase after consulting social channels.
But, remember the reverse is also true if someone isn’t happy with your product or service 258 of their friends/fans/followers are also likely to read about it!
So should I invest in social media?
The answer is yes, if you can adequately resource it, social media takes time to build. It shouldn’t be viewed as an overnight success, particularly if your product/service isn’t a particularly interesting topic. That being said only 30% of small businesses and 47% of medium sized businesses have a social media presence, so being social can provide a competitive edge.
The best advice we can give you is to havea plan for weekly posts/discussion points/content. If you are really busy, you can always refer to this list for inspiration. Also think outside the square for content – if you are a plumber for instance, why not take a video of you showing how to fix a leaky tap etc, don’t just write a post about how you unclogged a drain… The latter is boring, the video is interesting!
Don’t forget that Vent2Me provides a range of social media services and we have the results to prove it. Since our Executive Director started with the Garry and Warren Smith Group in October 2012, we have seen their social media grow by 920.5% (as of July 2013)!
Until next time,
Cents and Sensibility
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.