Social Media Marketing; The Networking Event of the Future.
Updated: Mar 6
I talk all the time with business owners who are struggling to justify the costs of professional social media marketing. Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok are a lot of fun, but are they worth the investment of building a platform to promote your business? The short answer? Yes. Actually...absolutely!
Just imagine...you get invited to the biggest networking event of the year. Thousands of potential leads, hundreds of fellow business owners you can learn from, and countless opportunities to grow and improve your business.
Social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Facebook has become the new phonebook, YouTube has moved into the radio and television ads space, and Google ads are seen by more potential customers than the average newspaper. Plus....digital advertising? A fraction of the price of traditional advertising methods (and some of them are free!). Customers now have the option to immediately review and compare different companies, learn about what those companies have to offer and what their philosophy is, and connect directly...all at their fingertips! If you aren't showing up in their newsfeed or in their Google searches, you are losing a lot of business to your competitor that is.
But wait! Remember, if you are going to a networking event, you gotta look sharp! Creating a social media presence isn't just about filling out the basic details and leaving a page stagnant. You have to engage! Create interesting content. Inform your community. Connect with them, laugh with them! It's important to have a strategy to keep your audience entertained. It is equivalent to showing up to promote your product in a tailored, well-fitting suit, with flashy business cards and a confident attitude as opposed to shyly walking in the door in the same suit you've had since 1998 and an old business card with the outdated information crossed out and the correct info penciled in. There is really no question about who the customer would choose to do business with.
But why hire a professional?
Today, most people have a personal social media presence that we generally use 'off the clock' as a form of recreation, so it's very easy to underestimate the time and skill it takes to have great visibility in the online space. From designing and redesigning the graphics to doing the research for interesting content, and even finding the right wording to get your point across in three sentences or less (or 250 characters), a single post can take up to two hours of background work (trust me...I've been there!). Many business owners take on this challenge and spend a lot of frustrating hours putting together their social media posts before putting them on the back burner where it stagnates and loses their value. Hiring a social media manager can take this stress off your shoulders and keep you relevant in the digital marketplace.
Even if you aren't in the position to invest a lot of time and energy into a social media strategy or hiring a social media manager, it is great to set some minimum goals to make sure you stay relevant.
If anything, get on Facebook. Facebook really is the modern-day version of the phone book and they are the next best thing to creating your own personal website (which can be quite expensive for a small business owner if you can't create one yourself). If you have the time to expand out into Twitter, Instagram, or any of the other social media platforms... that's great! But at a minimum, get on Facebook.
Keep all information up-to-date! So many times I will work with a client whose website or social media has outdated hours of operations or prices, which ultimately can leave potential customers feeling frustrated. If access to your information isn't user-friendly, customers can always just find one of your competitors instead.
Set a schedule to post content. Maybe you've got a lot to say about your product and you want to post every day with new, exciting updates. Maybe you would be lucky if you remembered to post something every two weeks. Whatever your situation is, find a schedule that is comfortable for you and put it in your day planner. Content is key. No one is impressed by a Facebook page with 5 posts over the past 3 years. A little bit of consistency can make your audience feel more confident in your business. In addition, the more content you have connected to your business, the bigger the web presence you create. Which in turn can translate into being found more often in internet searches (which leads to more business!).