Why Social Media Matters
Today I’d like to write about why social media matters — not why it matters to your competitor, or anyone else — but why it matters to you specifically. I’m not an advocate for jumping on board just because everybody else is doing it, but by the same token, I think social media conversations are becoming increasingly important in how small businesses connect with their target market, their existing market, and the world in general. One of the reasons that social media is so important is because people in the world at large are using social media platforms to talk about the things that they do every day, the brands that they interact with, and the businesses they encounter with on a daily basis. And if you are not there, if you are not part of the conversation, then you can’t contribute to the conversation, and you certainly can’t control the conversation.
So, if your customers are using it, and if your competitors are using it, one of the questions that we need to be asking is, “Well, how do we use it as well to be part of the conversation?”
If you’re not on social media, if you’re not part of the conversation, then you literately start to become invisible to the people who are having the conversations on that platform.
Some businesses avoid social media because they’re concerned that people might say nasty things about thing. My response is that if people are feeling so aggrieved by your brand or by the interaction that they’ve had with your staff or your website, then they are talking about you anyway, and whether you are there or not doesn’t stop them from having their little rant. But if you are there, then you can at least influence the discussion.
Social media also matters for search engine optimisation (SEO).
Social media validation often increases your ranking in search engine results. Google Plus, for instance, can have a significant impact on your business’ ranking. Another reason to utilise social media: This is how people now look for things. In the old days, we would flip through the yellow pages. That doesn’t happen anymore. Then people started using Google. Now people are doing their research via social media channels. They are asking for recommendations in their social networks.
In Australia, 97 percent of social media users are using Facebook, and there are at least 10 million Facebook users in Australia, of whom 68 percent check their Facebook feeds more than once a day.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I reckon there’s a fair chance that of that 10 million Facebook user base, some of them are going to be your target market.
And if they are checking in multiple times a day, that means you have an extraordinarily engaged audience. Further, 16 percent of social media users are using LinkedIn; 14 percent are using Twitter; and 8 percent are using Google Plus. If you’re not playing the social media game, you’re missing out on the nuances of the social conversation. If a customer has a fantastic experience, social media gives you the opportunity to amplify that experience. If they have a poor experience, you can respond to it and make things right. But if you’re not there, if you’re not part of the conversation, then you miss out on these opportunities. Join the conversation, and make the most of it.