Should I be using social media for marketing?
Yes, you should!
For the vast majority of the population, living without the internet is now unthinkable:
- More than 80% of British homes have access.
- There 30 million Facebook users, 15 million on Twitter and 14 million on Instagram.
- Smart phone usage has rocketed – as has our appetite for shopping online.
- YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world after Google.
- Good reviews on Trip Advisor are now essential for hotels and restaurants.
Both your existing and potential customers are already on social media – and so your competitors. So not being there puts you at a disadvantage. Even if you’re in the business to business sphere and don’t need to reach the general public, there are still hugely useful platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn.
Social media have two other big attractions. It’s easy to measure impact (how many followers you have and the numbers you are reaching), and they are absolutely free to use! The only associated cost is the time and effort required, which is not to be under-estimated (more on that in a moment).
If you’re not a habitual user of social media yourself, stepping into that world can be intimidating.There is a bewildering choice of channels and it is important to understand the differences between them.
As with all marketing, the important thing is to think things through. Be clear who you want to reach, and then choose just one or two appropriate platforms for you to start using. If in doubt, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are a good first bet.
If you’re not confident, get some expert training. There are some excellent one-day workshops run by companies who really know their stuff.
It does take some effort to use social media properly. You need to be active every day and have interesting things to say and share (tools like Hoot Suite enable you to automate posts to help your time management).
Done well, social media marketing can bring big rewards. If you haven’t done so yet, make a start today!