29 Mar A Social Presence Doesn’t Make You ‘Cool’ Anymore…
This March, Twitter turned 10 years old. That means for the past decade people have been churning out 148 character messages to the world expressing everything from their personal opinions to advertising messages. On average 6,000 of those tweets are sent per second and all of those tweets are stored in an archive at the Library of Congress. But, two years before the little blue bird became synonymous with hashtags and shorthand, Facebook, now the number one social media network in the world, was introduced. Tipping the scales at 1.1 Billion users in the early days of 2016, the social giant is the 3rd most popular website in the world, second only to Google and Youtube. Colloquially, the question ‘Are you on Social?’ has become ‘Where are you on Social?’. In short, social media isn’t just a novelty anymore. It pervades almost every aspect of the modern lifestyle, from elections to grocery shopping.
So, we hate to break it to you, but a social media presence doesn’t make you cool anymore, it makes you relevant. If your client or customer can’t find you on their phone, tablet, or computer before they’ve set foot in your establishment or met you face to face, you’ve already lost them. As Dionne Lew states in her article Why Leaders Really, Really Need To Care About Social Media, “These people (consumers, voters) expect to find you in social not because you’re cutting edge, but just as we presume we’ll find inventory on shelves.” So, even if you’re still successful without ever having logged on to a social network, refusing a social media strategy is refusing business, from many different angles.
If you work it right – adding in the correct targeting and popular hashtags – social media will help you reach your target audience. Those users will then like your page, and ideally click through to your website or give you a call. This is the most basic function of a business’ social media presence and it’s not too different from display advertising, though it is generally more cost-effective and an easier way to track leads. But, what you may not be taking into consideration is that social media goes above and beyond an advertising tool.
From valuable PR and client communication to attracting potential investors, a social media presence keeps you from missing out on opportunities you may not even know you were missing. A social profile becomes like a ‘face’ for your company, it helps you to build trust with your current clients, becomes a resource for leads researching a potential purchase in your industry, and allows unprecedented communication with prospective clients. Social media also becomes ‘owned media’ – a way for your business to position itself as an authority in your field, while also announcing company achievements and milestones that don’t need to be picked up by a local news outlet. If you’re looking to grow or attract new investors, keep in mind that Cogent Research has proven that 90% of high net-worth investor groups utilize social media research to inform their personal investment decisions.
Not every company needs to be on every platform out there. A targeted and logical approach is the best approach, but if you are looking to grow your business and attract or retain new clients and investors, your Social Media efforts should be much more than an afterthought.