eMarketer recently published an article explaining that most marketers are using their social media platforms as a way to gain brand awareness and customer loyalty. What most companies where not trying to do is bring in new customers. This is a sound emphasis for several reasons.
Social Media Is Long Term
Expecting to hop on Twitter or Facebook and get a bunch of prospective customers to seek you out for a purchase is dream. You have to take your time. Follow people and engage in conversation with them. Provide relevant and entertaining information. People will find your social media accounts for the content you produce on them, not the product or service you sell. Once you position yourself as an expert in your industry, people will start coming to you.
Social Media Is Not Hard Sell Friendly
As mentioned early, people come to your social media accounts for the content that you generate. What they are not looking for is a pitch. Constant sales pitches are a sure fire way to disengage your audience. The only way to get around this is to offer discounts. People do not mind finding coupons and offers on social media, but you will still need to balance it with interesting content.
Social Media Gets You Seen
Everytime you tweet on Twitter or post on Facebook, your logo is shown. When people are consistently exposed to your logo and company name, they will remember it. If your content is good enough, people will share or retweet it. Often times, this will expose your logo and company name to people that would not see it otherwise. Of course, this means an increase in brand awareness.
Social Media Is Engaging
Social media gives you a great way to interact with customers. If you are doing business with another company, it provides an easy way for you to promote them and the things that they do well. An act such as that will be greatly appreciated. If you are doing business with individuals, you can see what complaints they have about you and change them. This will certainly help your customer loyalty.
But Will It Make Money?
It can, but your goal should be long term growth. Social Media will not send people running to your website to make a purchase. What it will do is expose you to new people and help you to retain the customers you already have. Eventually, one of the people who discovered you will be in need of a service you provide, or a customer you may have lost will be saved. New customers are always great and retaining customers is even better.