5 Reasons Why Your Mission-Driven Business Needs to Be On Social Media
Over the last few years, social media has EXPLODED – and it’s becoming more and more important for businesses and organizations to have an online presence.
If you still haven’t made the leap into social media, I’m willing to bet it’s because you’re hung up on this question:
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME AND MY BUSINESS?
And I’m going to let you in on a secret:
This is exactly the question you SHOULD be asking.
You’re busy running a business and changing the world – you don’t have time to waste on inefficient marketing tactics. If you’re going to put time and effort into building a social media presence, you need to be sure it’s going to help you succeed.
But I’ve got good news for you! When you use social media strategically and consistently, it will help your business grow.
Here are five of the top benefits my clients and I have seen from social media:
1. Social Media Builds Relationships
Social media is, well, social!
Maintaining an active presence on key social media channels is an effective way to build relationships with customers, donors, or peers in your industry. Personally thank fans who promote your business, improve customer service by quickly addressing customer concerns or complaints, and share important news or updates with your followers.
Social media is also particularly useful for connecting with industry peers and potential partners or collaborators. Follow people or companies you admire or would like to work with, and engage with them by liking posts, re-tweeting, and leaving thoughtful comments on their work.
Live events are another great place to connect with people through social media. Use the event hashtag in your posts to connect with other industry members, and don’t be afraid to reach out to other attendees via social media about setting up a face-to-face meeting.
2. Social Media Promotes Your Brand
Social media is an incredible tool for increasing your exposure to new audiences. Active social media profiles make your business easier to find online, which encourages potential customers or donors to connect with you. The ability to tag your account on social media also gives customers a direct line to your company, which makes you more approachable.
Additionally, active social media accounts and engaged followers serve as social proof. If a potential customer comes to your profile and sees that you’re already being followed and mentioned by satisfied customers, you’ll stand out much more in that person’s mind than a similar company with no posts or followers to speak of.
Social media also lets you build trust between your business and your customers. Use your posts to share valuable information that highlights your expertise and knowledge. Ask questions of your audience to engage with them and show them you care about their voice and opinion. Establish yourself as an expert in your industry to keep your brand top-of-mind for your customers.
Finally, social media gives you the tools to manage your online reputation. If someone is badmouthing your company on Twitter, for example, chances are you’re going to want to know about it so you can address their concerns. If you have social media accounts, you can get a direct notification whenever someone tags you – for better or worse – on each platform. Even if a customer doesn’t tag you directly, it’s easy to periodically search for references to your business so you can jump in and do any necessary damage control.
3. Social Media Drives Traffic and Sales
Social media can play an important role in driving sales, signups, traffic, and donations. Easily promote a new blog post, article, or graphic and direct people to that content on your website (Pinterest is particularly useful in driving traffic). Share news about sales and specials along with an easy-to-click link so people can purchase or donate right then and there. Encourage email signups or petition signatures with social media posts. Advertise a job opening, speaking opportunity, or available sponsorship to expand your applicant pool. The possibilities are endless!
The key when using social media to increase traffic or drive sales is to be strategic. Make it clear in each post exactly what action you want your follower to take (buy a product? Sign up for an email list?) and make it easy for followers to take that action by including a clear link to an easy-to-understand landing page or sales page. Also, be sure you’re not just inundating your followers with sales-y posts – break your “ask” posts up with some no-strings-attached content (like a helpful article or behind-the-scenes photo) to keep your audience engaged and avoid customer or donor burnout.
4. Social Media Expands Your Audience
Hashtags and targeted recommendations on social media platforms make it easier than ever for you to discover new brands and organizations. And – even better – these features make it easier than ever for potential donors or customers to discover you. Use targeted hashtags in your social media posts to attract followers who are interested in your products or services, and clearly describe your business in your profile so you’re easily discoverable by potential customers or donors.
Social media can get your business in front of people who may have never heard of you otherwise – which is great for expanding your audience and your customer or donor base.
(PS – still not sure about whether social media will really promote your business? In the 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, “a significant 90% of marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses,” making Increased Exposure the top-ranked benefit of using social media across a pool of nearly 4000 marketers).
5. Your Customers Are On Social Media
The most important reason you should be on social media? Your customers are there.
Social Platforms let you connect directly with your customers or donors – and, more importantly, they give your customers or donors a direct connection to you. You can use this connection to build trust, get to know your followers better, establish your expertise, and drive sales or donations.
A small social media effort can have a big impact. So don’t be afraid to jump in, even if you’re pressed for time! The key is to be thoughtful and strategic about your social media presence – if you’re efficient with time spent on social media, even one hour a week can make a difference for your business and your mission.
Ready to get started? Click here to sign up for my FREE 10-day Social Media Marketing Boot Camp Email Course and I’ll walk you step-by-step through my practical, easy-to-implement marketing strategies!