This is a common question asked by business owners throughout multiple industries. For some, they don’t see it as a tool for reaching new customers as their target audience is not generally engaged in social media networks. For others, they haven’t been able to generate a direct return on investment, and therefore don’t see the value. So the question remains: should you invest in social media?
The answer is a resounding yes – but not just because firms like ours offer services in this area. Businesses of all sizes should make an investment in social media because it does generate a return on investment and the audience is more than likely engaged in a social media platform of some kind. Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at a few statistics.
A recent article in MarketingProfs focused on the findings of a study completed by Awareness. Of the companies surveyed, 70 percent plan to increase their presence across social media platforms and another 59 percent plan to increase their social content publishing activity. Half of the brands participating in the survey said they would improved their social media management processes and tools, and 45 percent plan to focus on monitoring these channels.
And, while Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will get the most activity from these brands, blog will be the next biggest area to invest in social media. Blogs provide an important opportunity to inform and then engage, delivering value to the reader and potential customer. Plus, it provides a company with the opportunity to use a personal approach with the customer base, blurring the line between the corporate blanket and the people who make the company successful.
So why does it matter who is making the investment in social media? It matters because it’s the competition and they are getting engaged. Social media is not about shouting out messages and pushing an agenda; it’s about engaging customers, listening to ideas and providing a platform for interaction. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate that customers have a voice and that voice is heard.
Social media also provides an opportunity to control the message and respond to unhappy customers. A bad incident can quickly turn into a company’s greatest success story when it’s handled correctly. Social media provides that instant opportunity – something no other platform can deliver.
Keep in mind, the engagement and interactions will not happen immediately, even if you launch your platforms today. To make an investment in social media means you have to get in the conversation, monitor mentions of your brand and share relevant and valuable information and resources. Only then can you begin to build the social value of your brand and seek to measure a return on the investment.