Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Your business should be using social media.

Social media is like the Marmite of digital marketing; marketers either love it or hate it.

I can tell you now that the majority of people who claim to 'hate' social media simply don't understand how to use it or aren't aware of the benefits that it can bring to your business. So I'm going to tell you, from my experience, why your business should be using social media.

It helps to reach people in a context they're familiar with.

It doesn't matter if your business is B2B or B2C, at the end of the day, you're communicating with another person. 

These people (your target audience) will probably get hundreds of emails every day, so perhaps one of the most effective ways to get their attention is on their home turf: social media. 

Your audience does a lot of the work for you.

Raising awareness for your brand is a lot easier when you let your audience do all the work.

If you create an interesting piece of shareable content, the impressions for the post can increase exponentially. 

Take Twitter for example; if I post a branded infographic, it's seen by all of my followers (let's say I have 100 for argument's sake). If just one of my followers retweets it, my post can then be seen by all of their followers (again, 100) as well as my own, meaning that my audience can double from just one retweet.

Everyone knows that peer recommendation is the most trusted source of information; by encouraging your audience to share your content, they are essentially recommending your brand to all of their followers.

You can use it to capture new audience data.

By using simple data capture forms (I hate that phrase, but there isn't really a better way to describe them!) you can create what is called 'gated content', meaning that your audience will have to enter details (such as name and email address) in order to access your content.

If you then distribute the content on social media and let your audience do the sharing, you have a much better chance of capturing new data for future campaigns.

You can use 'tailored audiences' to contact those who are just out of reach.

Platforms like Twitter allow you to create tailored audiences

This allows you to completely customise the way you use Twitter ads; from custom audiences (where you can target people that have visited your website or downloaded you app as well as people that fit your ideal customer profile) to lookalike audiences (target lists that are similar to audience lists you already have). 

This can be super useful to target those who are just out of reach; people that don't follow you, that haven't 'liked' your page and that haven't been on your website or downloaded your app.

No social presence, no control.

If you aren't active on social media sites and don't regularly post content, your brand's digital identity be created for you through other people's posts. 

You have no control over the content other people post, therefore if their content is about your brand and you have no digital activity of your own, then their content becomes your brand's entire digital identity.

This lists of reasons to use social for your brand is in no way exhaustive; there are a million and one reasons to get involved.

So do it. Set up Twitter; get a Facebook page; start posting on LinkedIn; create a company blog.

Happy tweeting :)

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