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Can Social Media really help with my business success?

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  • 3:57 reading time (ish)
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Many people misunderstand the importance of social media for business success — will it really work? Will it bring me any real return on investment? How will I know if it’s working?

These are typical questions that seem to trouble many business owners before they jump into the world of digital marketing. Some people simply dislike social media from the off and that’s a huge hurdle to get over.

Where are your customers?

If you’re struggling to see how social media can improve business success, just have a think about where your target audience and customers are hanging out these days — they haven’t just got their head in newspapers, near a TV, or radio like they used to…

For example, a BBC article published a while ago highlighted a report, which found that “social media has overtaken television as young people’s main source of news”.

According to the article, the research by The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism research suggested that: “this trend and the rising use of mobile phones to access news are undermining traditional business models”.

The feature goes on to focus much more on how people are now discovering news, but it also mirrors how people are finding out about information in general today, including details on your business, whether it is small or large.

Your customers want instant results — they don’t want to wait for a sales call, or to have to travel to your premises to find out more. The mobile phone is the modern day oracle and if you are to be found by customers then you have to make sure that your business is set up for mobile and online platforms.

Relationship building for business success

Marketing has become much softer, social and conversational — this inspires trust. Social media is a great tool for relationship building, creating brand personality and awareness, and tackling that soft-sell approach. It is not a thing to ignore or be scared of getting involved with — it is to be embraced, because whether you like it or not, it is what the majority of people want right now.

We do not want a hard sell – we want to do our own research and make our own choices and opinions on a brand. This can rely heavily on how a business is represented online, and also what other customers are saying about that brand. You can’t get away from it — that’s just how it is.

Once you understand this you’ll realise that social media is actually an important customer relationship tool. Used correctly, this responsive advertising platform will help you reach and connect with large audiences in a way we never could before. Social media offers the chance to provide potential customers and brand advocates with useful, targeted information in a way that they can control and are willing to accept.

You probably won’t get overnight business success, or a clear return on investment by using social media, but the number one thing to understand is that you are nurturing your audience over time, getting them to like and trust your brand first. The overall aim is being able to provide a personal connection and subsequently turning your audience into new customers. It’s a gradual process, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t an extremely valuable one.

It’s the equivalent of sitting patiently on a clutch of eggs, waiting for them to hatch. Step away for too long and those precious little  eggs might go cold — if you want successful social media you have to be prepared to keep up the responsibility of letting it grow.

If you’re going to give social media a try then make sure you’re ready to give the level of attention and interaction your customers expect. Otherwise you’ll be left wondering, why didn’t it work?

Do you need some help with your social media?

It takes a lot of time, effort and creative thinking to grow your audience — you need fresh, regular, relevant, resourceful and interesting content. This can become something very hard to keep up with, especially when you have a business to run.

With social media constantly growing as an advertising platform, it would be wise not to discount it as part of your wider marketing mix. The real question is, can you really afford not to be using it for your business?

If you need a helping hand with anything social media, please do feel free to get in touch.