Social media happens to be one of the key factors that’s built my business. I’ve watched many business launch with social media and become power houses. That’s why I find it surprising when talking with people in the rodeo and agriculture industries that there are still businesses that haven’t embraced the digital age. Some brick and mortar businesses are still relying on traditional advertising from years ago, phone book, news papers and maybe a website. How many of you actually look in a phone book when you need a phone number? You’re probably like me and use google. How many of you actually read a news paper? Or do you rely on Twitter or Facebook for what’s important to you? I follow my favorite news channels on Twitter and Facebook for news updates and I have a weather app. I follow my favorite stores and businesses on social media too. I think this is the case for the majority of people, especially millennials. This is why, when I work with clients I always share these 7 reasons why social media is so important.
1.Social media builds your brand and gives you the chance to showcase who you are and what makes you different from the competition. It’s important to establish your companies purpose and mission statement. For example, Women In Rodeo’s purpose is:
*To educate and motivate Women In Rodeo.
*To bring Women In Rodeo together as a community that supports one another.
*To educate new rodeo fans that want to either be a spectator that understands the industry or they want to learn how to find their own place in the industry.
*To help WIR build a positive social media presence.
2. Social media can help you increase trust and build relationships. With so many options to choose from, customers may feel overwhelmed. Seeing that you have an active presence on social media shows that you care and if anything goes wrong they can easily contact you. Make sure that you are posting daily. If they see a page that hasn’t been utilized they will forget about you. Twitter people will unfollow you quickly if you haven’t tweeted recently.
3. Social media allows you to gather real insight from your customers and learn about them. You have a unique opportunity to really find out what they want and what they like. You can post surveys, ask questions, or simply check out their pages to see what their likes and dislikes are.
4. Social media is the best way to promote your content allowing you the chance to attract new customers. Content ideas might be: sales, office shenanigans for a little fun, holiday posts, your involvement with a charity, repost your customers, etc. I personally think it’s a nice touch when a company reposts their customers, even if it’s just one post a week. This shows that you are in touch with your customers and like to involve them.
5. Social media helps you keep customers engaged with your brand. Keeps you fresh on their mind, influencing purchase decisions and repeat business. If you create content that keeps them coming back, you will always be on their mind. They may not buy today but they might in a month. They might refer others to your page and repost for you. Remember, purchasing customers shouldn’t be your only goal on social media. Look to build relationships with those that consistantly follow and engage with you. Use it for research to find out what your customers want or need.
6. Social media can help you drive traffic to your website and increase your search ranking with Google. This should always be your number 1 goal. Websites are so important and you ultimately want to drive your customers/followers to your homepage. This is where all the magic happens. Your website homepage is your chance to really engage your customers and let them see what you are all about. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and mobile friendly. Spend some time on your own website. If you sell things on your website, go through the purchasing process. If you find yourself frustrated, your customers will be too. They will give up quickly. I highly suggest a PayPal or similar option. Many people visit a site to make a sale because they are excited about what they just saw and it’s an impulse buy. They may be in such a hurry that they might not have their credit card with them so PayPal streamlines the purchase, making it fast and easy. If the PayPal option isn’t there, they won’t buy… they may intend to come back later but now they have time to talk themselves out of a sale.
7. You have the opportunity to have a direct conversation with a specific niche. Look for social networking sites, forums, etc for your niche and chime in on conversations. Do NOT be the person that hijacks a conversation with a sales pitch and leaves your website. Instead, add value to the conversation. I firmly believe that niche marketing is so important in today’s business world. If you appeal to a specific niche they are going to love you. You know what they like and can speak directly to them with social media. Share your passion for the industry with them, they feel the same way. Find out what they are struggling with and help. I can’t stress enough how important it is to add value. Do not make your social media strictly about making a sale. It’s so easy to scroll to the next post/page. Give them a reason to connect with you and stick around.