Is social media really necessary for business? This is a question many owners ask, yet far too often they leave the query on the shelf and neglect to make a decision. Are you among them? If so, a word of caution – putting it off any longer can result in some very frightening things. Let’s review.
3 Frightening Events That Can Befall Your Business When You Don’t Engage Customers on Social Media
I. You Lose All Validation in the Eyes of Consumers
It doesn’t matter if you think that your business doesn’t need to maintain a strong presence on social media. Your customers and clients fully expect you to.
Not only do they want to confirm that your business operations are current and that your product/service offering is relevant, they check out your social profiles to see what others have to say about you. This is called social validation in marketing. A recent quote from FORBES sums the concept up quite well:
“Social validation in marketing […] represents a kind of social ‘chain reaction’ that leads others to similar behaviors. In a marketing context, if a user leaves a positive review for a product or a positive rating for a business, other, even non-affiliated users will be more likely to buy that product or work with that business. Because one person went on a limb and confirms that the experience is positive, others are likely to take a similar action.” (The Importance Of Social Validation In Online Marketing, FORBES)
Consumers absolutely want to hear what others have to say about your brand. Social media has redefined the concept of opinion-leaders in traditional marketing. Worried about what those opinions might look like in a public forum? By forgoing regular social media maintenance you run the risk of having no opinion formed about your business at all. That’s a far worse fate than a couple of questionable Facebook reviews amongst the positive ones.
II. You Lose Your Voice
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn (for B2B) provide very effective outlets for your marketing messages. They allow you to communicate new product launches, re-openings, one-off promotions, customer appreciation offers, and other deals without having to frequently update your website. Better yet, they allow you to reach an audience that either doesn’t even know about or care to visit your website.
In today’s highly competitive environment you need to capitalize on every communication channel possible. Even without a strong following you can reach target demographics through promoted posts on Facebook and Instagram. There is nary a more cost effective way to get your voice heard by those who don’t already know about you. By neglecting social networks as a primary business communications tool your voice will not be heard by hundreds or thousands of ears that are ready to receive your message.
III. Consumers Won’t Reach Out To You
Communication is a two-way street in online marketing, and consumers are using social media as a primary means for communicating with a business. This form of consumer-to-business messaging is growing proportionately faster than email and voice calls when it comes to them (consumers) initiating first contact. This is especially true of certain industries, including hospitality and tourism but no industry is removed. In fact, we’ll see a lot more social app communication being initiated by consumers (to businesses) as more industries come to terms with modern marketing.
Think about it, people barely call or email their own friends and family anymore. Instead, they communicate with them through social networking applications. They stay in touch by commenting on their posts and other updates, and message them via the same apps. If they prefer this less disrupting form of communication for friends and family, imagine how they feel about it in the context of you? This fact was validated by Facebook’s recent move (October 2020) to merge Facebook Messenger and Instagram’s direct messaging services, which have now been integrated into one system. The merge allows shared messaging across both platforms. This is good news for businesses that may have a weak Facebook audience but strong Instagram following (or vice versa).
Customers and clients will be the one to initiate contact with you IF you give them the opportunity to do so. If you don’t, your competitors will. Now that is scary!
Contact Strategis Consulting Group to receive a FREE audit of your social network status.