This Week's Question: Is social media a waste of time?
A question I seem to get asked in multiple versions all the time is, "it seems like everywhere I turn people are talking about social media, but I don't use it personally because well I think it's a waste of time, and I feel like my business is missing out if I don't use it. What should I do?"
We get that you're a busy small business owner and you probably have better things to do with your time than take pictures of your food or watch crazy cat videos. But the reality is that social media is just too big and too powerful to ignore. There are over 3.5 billion people that use social media. That's half the world's population. So let's talk more about that.
I'm Tom Malesic, founder and President, of EZMarketing, a digital marketing agency in Lancaster, PA, and you're watching Ask EZ, where small business owners go to get real answers to their marketing questions.
If you want to know more about social media, specifically five ways that you can leverage social media for your business, watch on!
five ways to leverage social media
So what's so great about social media anyway?
#1 Research Competitors
The first way that you can leverage social media is to research your competitors. More than likely your competitors are using platforms like Facebook, or Instagram, or LinkedIn and you can research what they're doing. You can see what they're posting and you can actually see what other people are saying about them.
So, stalk your competitors! I mean follow them on social media.
#2 Provide Customer Service
The second way to use social media is to use it as a customer service platform. If someone calls you on the phone, you answer them. If somebody sends you an email, you respond.
But what happens on social media? When somebody's leaving you a message, are you getting back to them? Specifically, if somebody leaves you a negative message on social media are you using this as a great way to handle the objection and to resolve the issues.
So please use social media as a great customer service platform.
#3 Get Your Company Seen
The third way to use social media is to get your company seen, or the way marketers talk about it is brand awareness. This is probably one of the most basic ways that most of our clients really use social media. It's kind of like a second home for your business, it's another way that you can get found and share information.
In 2016, researchers did a study on Facebook to see how closely related each person was related to each other. It goes like this if I share a post on Facebook and then you share it, and then your friends share it, and then their friends share it, you have literally had the chance to reach absolutely everyone on Facebook with your post.
That's reaching 2.2 billion people. So Facebook is a great way to get seen.
#4 Be Seen as the Expert
The fourth way to use social media is to use it to be seen as an expert. If you're the one doing the talking and you're sharing the information, then by nature of that activity you are seen as the expert in what you're talking about.
Think of it like Dr. Oz, is he the expert doctor? I don't know. But he's certainly perceived that way by the marketplace.
Ways that you can be seen is you can post articles, you can share content, you can follow other industry experts, and you can share your content with others. So please use social media to get seen as the expert.
#5 Make Money
The fifth way to use social media, and my personal favorite way, is to use it to make money. We're in business, we need to turn a profit and social media can be a wonderful way to generate leads.
You might want to talk about specials or download a free piece of content, or maybe you have an event that's going on at your business that you want to promote.
One of the really unique things about social media is just how much they know about you. And as a result from a marketing standpoint, we can really target and drill down on your target customer. Just Facebook alone knows how old you are, where you live, about how much money you make, what you're interested in, what kind of job you have. It's a great way to target a very specific customer.
Last week I was meeting with a customer and she specifically said how much she used to just hate social media. She thought it was a waste of time, why would anyone care about anything that she has to say on it, and why would anybody follow her. And today she said people specifically come up to her to say, I love what you share on social media. Thank you so much it's really helpful.
So you can go from "I hate social media" to "I love social media."
Here's your homework:
I want you to research or check out what your competitors are doing. Start to stalk them, I mean follow them, and see what their doing, see what their customers are saying, and see what messaging they're giving to the marketplace.