Updated: Jan 4, 2020
80% of people say they expect some amount of customer service to come from a business's social media account.
That's kind of a crazy statistic, don't you think?
I mean, we've gone way past the original use of social media to be...well...social and personal among our friends and family. That statistic shows just how important having a professional presence on social media is for doing good business these days.
What are some reasons folks might head to your business's social media page instead of your website or calling?
1. Quick Contact Younger generations rarely pick up the phone anymore. They'd rather anonymously snoop online or email/text than to have to deal with answering services or, worse, speaking to a complete stranger on the other end of the phone.
2. Holiday Hours Some customers head to a business's social media pages to find out if there are any changes in hours of operation. For example, this past holiday season, my husband and I checked the Facebook pages of our favorite restaurants to see their announcements of changed holiday hours. I also checked my local gym's page to see which classes would be canceled and which were still going on as scheduled.
The reality is that it's much easier for a staff member to post up-to-date news at the push of a button via social media than it is to get information added to their website instantly, so a lot of businesses use their SM for daily updates and news flashes, while the website remains static.
3. Current Promotions & Events A lot of customers check a business's social media to see if there are any current promotions or sales. A business's ability to post at the push of a button to reach its targeted audience via social media has made it so much easier to announce deals & reward its followers with coupons.
4. Validating & Vetting In the case of service-based businesses that a potential customer is comparing and considering, following up a visit on the website with a visit to their social media pages is the first method of vetting a company for many people. With soooooo many scams going on, being able to see that a company has a regular presence on social media with testimonials and interaction with previous customers is important.
For example, you know those Facebook ads with the super cute clothing at ridiculously cheap prices? So many of those are fake sites or knockoff sites in which they post photos from designers' sites but send you really cheap, terribly-made and misleading clothing that looks nothing like the original ad. Many times, I'll be tempted and hopeful. So I'll pull up Facebook and Instagram and search for the company name listed on the ad. 8 times out of 10 there is no company registered there. I'll google the name, and the only place they can be found is their own website. That is a major red flag for me, and it should be for all shoppers.
Some fun examples of businesses that sell knockoffs:
So, it should go without much further explanation that in 2020, any business that wants to be taken seriously should have an up-to-date, professional social media presence.
Do you have to have a full-scale social media marketing strategy with a professional manager, daily posts, ads, and the works? No, of course not.
Will it help grow your business? Yup.
Do I happen to offer those services and am blatantly writing this article to encourage more business for myself? Yup. Ok, well sorta. Let's face it - almost every blog on the web has been written from an angle of someone trying to promote their services, but I pride my writing on honest and transparency. So, yes, I do offer social media management, and of course I'd always like more business. But everything I've written is true and my professional belief.
That being said, I am not personally accepting new clients for social media management until March 2020, though other members of the *SPARK* team have immediate availability if you're interested in getting something up and running right away. Click here to shoot me a message.
Jokes aside, not every business would benefit from investing too much time or money into having active social media.
Some businesses would do well to simply set up a professional profile on Facebook. Without doing a single other thing, you'll tick off number 4 on our list above.
Checking your page just once a week to post about changes in hours or sales will tick off numbers 2 and 3.
Checking your page 2-3 times per week or installing the Facebook messenger app on your phone to respond within 24 hours to messages from customers will tick off that first point.
And if you're interested in taking one step further advantage of social media marketing, simply sit down one hour a month to create 4-6 posts and schedule them throughout the next 30 days. Rinse and repeat. BAM. Now you have an active social media presence without spending a dime or investing more than 1-2 hours per month.
[If you want to read about the worst case scenario of a business owner who should never be allowed access to their company social media account, check out the customer service chapter of my book, The Business Bible for the Unconventional Entrepreneur... #buttholegate... I'm not even kidding. Or, jump onto President Donald Trump's Twitter feed on any given day. Just sayin....]
But, Liz, in which cases would it help my business to make more money to bite the bullet and pay someone to run a total social media marketing campaign?
We can talk more about that over here in a separate post.
Ciao for now!