Forget what you think and know about marketing. Marketing has gone viral and if you’re not using social media to promote your company and communicate with your customers then you need to start now.
Research published by Social Media Examiner stated that only 27 per cent of small businesses are currently using Facebook as a marketing tool, while 44 per cent of small businesses don’t even have a website.
Many small businesses that are choosing to jump on the social media bandwagon are employing the help of an online marketing company or social media agency. However, many more believe that they don’t need social media and are happy using more conventional methods of marketing such as fliers, advertisements in the local press and good old word of mouth.
So why should I be using social media?
First and foremost, social media presents an opportunity to market your company for free. Printing and distributing fliers, recording and airing a radio advert or securing space in a newspaper or magazine are very expensive forms of marketing. What’s more, the impact they have is debatable.
Even if you were to employ the professional help of an online marketing company or social media agency, the cost of social media marketing should be negligible compared to other comparable avenues.
Will I not need a website first?
While designing and launching a website is advisable, Facebook means it is no longer necessary. A Facebook ‘page’ can be created to serve a similar purpose to a website.
You can include opening times as well as special offers, contact details, menus (for the food industry) and even a map.
So why should I bother with a website?
Although a Facebook page will serve as a useful resource for those who already know about you, it is highly unlikely that someone searching for say, ‘restaurants Covent Garden’ is going to find you by chance.
A website can be optimised so that when a person searches the internet for a business in your field and in your area, they might find you and become a new customer.
Creating a website doesn’t have to be expensive and although optimising it can be time-consuming and difficult; you can seek help from an online marketing company.
How do I use social media?
The most important thing to remember is that social media is not marketing as you know it. Social media involves communicating with your customers rather than blatantly advertising to them.
Social media therefore offers a medium for building relationships with your customers. These customers are then more likely to become long-term customers as well as encourage friends and family to become customers too.
If you want to learn more about social media and how you can implement it into your marketing campaign successfully, there is a plethora of information available online. Alternatively you can seek the help of a social media agency who will be able to create and monitor a campaign on your behalf.