Believe me, I know how it feels to read that headline. It’s a real pain if you’re not tech-oriented.
Let me level with you: I considered softening it a little. I thought about saying something like:
“10 Reasons You Might Consider a Social Media Strategy”
“10 Reasons You Could Think About It”
“10 Reasons You Might, Maybe, Possibly Get Some Value out of a Social Media Strategy, Someday”
But none of those titles seemed appropriate. Social media strategy isn’t something you might want to consider. It would have been misleading for me to say any of those things.
Social media strategy isn’t just an option. It’s not something you could just as easily do without. It’s something your small business needs, and I’m here to do help you get it.
So let’s get to it, shall we?
- Most Small Businesses Fail Within 2 Years
I’m sure you’ve heard that number before. You knew that before you started your business, but you started it anyways. You’re not afraid of a little risk.
But when it comes to neglecting social media, we’re not talking about a little risk.
When it comes to doing a “good enough” job on social media, we’re not talking about a little risk.
When it comes to falling behind the trends, we’re not talking about taking a calculated risk. We’re talking about leaving the road to going under wide open.
If you were going to start a restaurant, wouldn’t you need a good refrigerator? If you were going to start a moving company, wouldn’t you need a moving van? If you were going to start a construction company, wouldn’t you invest in the best tools?
Social media is just as important. Neglect it at your own risk.
- 52 Percent of Millennials Discover Products and Services Through Social Media
Well that’s all well and good, you say. 52 percent of millennials can just go ahead and find products and services through social media.
Fair enough. If you’re rolling in business already, I can see how that wouldn’t matter to you. You don’t need any more business, and you’re confident the competition won’t snatch your customers.
That’s wonderful. I respect that, and I envy you your success.
If that’s not you, though, I want you to think of all the opportunities you’re passing up by not getting in on the social media game. I don’t know who it was who said “You can’t be competitive if you don’t compete.” But whoever it was, was right.
- Social Media Links Count Toward SEO Authority
If you’re already knee-deep in content marketing, you’ll know all about this. If you’re not, let me give you the short version.
SEO (search engine optimization) rankings determine your site’s rankings on search engines. Now, why does that matter? It’s because if you rank well for SEO, your site will be on the first page of rankings when people search “restaurants in my city” (for example).
If your site shows up on the first page of a common Google search, you can rake in the traffic.
So regardless of what else they might do, links to your site on social media will increase your overall SEO rankings. And when you combine that with the possibility of massive shares, you can change your rankings fast.
- Social Media Allows for Real-Time Customer Feedback
There are two reasons why this should matter to you: the first reason is because it’s very good, and the second reason is because it’s very bad.
Why’s it good? It’s good because a happy customer can engage with your brand’s social media presence. They can reply to your posts, share your content, and spread good feelings about your business. They can even leave positive reviews on any of dozens of online review sites.
Why’s it bad? You probably already know.
It’s bad because an unhappy customer can do just the opposite. They can spread terrible things about your brand and drive people away. They can leave terrible reviews that make it harder for you to get people in the door.
So if you want a shot at encouraging the good and doing damage control on the bad, you’ve got to be in the game.
- A Well-Run Social Media Presence Can Drive Massive Traffic
Just like with the SEO, a strategic social media presence can encourage people to visit your site. If you can draw their curiosity and get them to click a link to your site, you’re halfway to earning their business.
Notice: I said a well-run social media presence can drive massive traffic. I’ll talk about this in more detail later, but a bad social media presence can be worse than no presence at all.
If you can create an inviting feeling of community around your website, you can draw the kind of business you’re looking for. All it takes is a little time and strategy.
- Potential for Viral Growth
I mention this one because a viral post is the most beautiful moment in a social media marketer’s life. There’s nothing better than seeing thousands (or even millions) of people encountering and enjoying your post.
The viral posts are the most satisfying. Often, they’re the ones who introduce the most customers to your brand and get the most traffic to your site.
But they’re only possible because of constant effort and methodical growth strategies. A lot of trial and error goes into learning the customer base and finding out what they need. The viral posts are glorious, but it’s the months of tedious work and strategizing that get you there.
- The Competition is Already Here
If you’re still hesitating, just remember that if you’re not getting your share of that 52 percent, your competitors already are. I’m sure they appreciate the way you’re leaving the field wide open for them.
Social media is no secret. Even if you don’t have a dedicated social media strategy, I’m sure you’ve already got a few accounts on some of the bigger sites. You’ve seen the ads on Facebook. Heck, you’ve probably even bought something on Facebook.
The competition knows what they’re doing, and they’re not just going to let you catch up. That’s why it pays to get a solid strategy on your side.
- Bad Social Media Presence Takes More Time Than Good Social Media Presence
Now, you might be thinking you can just let one of your employees take care of some social media presence in their down-time.
Maybe they could. Maybe they keep up with the latest strategies and the latest techniques. Maybe they know how to encourage post engagement and how to build a reliable brand.
But I don’t think that’s likely.
I think it’s much more likely that they’re wasting your time and theirs with an unsystematic approach that’s not calculated to give your business any long-term benefit.
A worthwhile social media strategy takes time and experience. It’s worth your while to talk to a professional.
- Top of Mind Appeal
If you’ve convinced your customers to follow you on Twitter (or Instagram, or whatever), you’ve gotten their permission to show up on their feed on a regular basis.
That’s a big responsibility. It’s an obligation to give them good content that they can either use or enjoy. It’s an obligation to give them something valuable.
But it’s also an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to build a relationship between the customer and your brand, even if they don’t immediately become a customer. It’s a chance for you to earn their business, and it’s a chance for your brand to be the first one they think of when they enter your market.
And that just might be the best reason to develop a social media strategy.
- Find Your Strongest Fans
No matter what industry you’re in, your business is going to have fans.
These will be the people who regularly engage with your content.
These will be the people who share your content.
These will be the people who let you know what it is about your brand that makes it so great.
It’s a great way to learn about what your business is doing right, and it’s a wonderful source of encouragement when you’re not sure what to do next.
As long as you’re sure to give them something special, they’ll be there. And as long as they’re there, you can be sure your social media strategy is headed the right way.