Social media is absolutely everywhere these days. You can barely get through a few hours without seeing it in some way or another. With that said, it must surely be a great idea for your business to have an account on a social media platform, right? Well, not necessarily.
Social media can actually have a negative effect on your business and possibly even harm the image of your company.
Negativity on Social Media
The BBC have actually reported that the use of social media can enhance stress levels, cause anxiety, bring on depression, and cause a lack of sleep for many of it’s users. These negativities are more focused on personal use of the applications, but businesses can suffer in similar ways if they go in with unachievable expectations.
Avocado Social found these statistics on how the UK uses social media, pointing out that not many of us actually use it for work:
“Amazingly, 96% of UK social media users visited a social network or messaging service in the past month. Of these 77% actively engaged or contributed to social media in this time.
The average UK based user now spends 1 hour 50 minutes every day scrolling through social media sites. This may not seem that much if you work in social media, but consider that this figure represents all age groups and locations.”
“Interestingly, only 13% of UK internet users use social media for work purposes. As more employee advocacy programmes launch we expect this figure will significantly increase. If not, then this could be a sign that employers are not engaging staff members to utilise social media and promote their brand”.
Who really cares?
In our personal lives most of us have social media accounts to keep up with friends, follow the ongoing of a huge brand or sports team, or check on distant relatives. Whatever the reason is, it isn’t normally to look at the latest offerings from a company. This is why using social media as a marketing tool, unless you’re already a hugely established brand, doesn’t really make any sense.
If Coca Cola decide to tweet about a new product to create some added hype around it, it makes perfect sense. They’re already extremely well known, and people will want to interact with them as a company.
The same goes for clothing brands such as Adidas, when they’re releasing new trainers it can be a great idea to show them off online, making people aware of their release without paying for an extremely expensive television advert. Though, the same rules do not apply if you run a corner shop.
Nobody wants to know what’s happening at their local petrol station or supermarket. Social media marketing doesn’t make sense for many companies because most of them have no real following to speak of.
If your product placement strategy is to appear on as many social media sites as possible, you’ll ultimately face flaws. By doing this, you’re instilling all the power into active users who have to first go out of their way to find your product, to then go on a further link to interact with it or purchase it.
While this form of modern marketing can work for some, it heavily relies on luck as there are so many social media business accounts out there. It is now almost impossible to stand out in the huge crowd on either Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Your marketing plan needs to be more out of the box than just assuming the creation of a social media account will fix your problems.
If you have a strong marketing strategy that you believe in which involves social media, then have confidence in yourself and go for it. But, the likelihood of making a big splash in the infinite pool of social networking sites is very slim at this current moment in time, because there is so much to compete with.
Keeping up appearances
Social media marketing requires commitment, themed branding, observational skills, and hard work. You have to focus on what it is your consumers interact with and hone in on a niche you find. It can be very tedious, hard work.
To make the most out of social media with a business, you have to create a coherent feed of posts, making yourself instantly recognisable to your followers. There are some classic examples of this, especially on Instagram, where business use images and photographs to advertise their branding.
Using social media from a business perspective also makes you settle on a target audience from an early point in your company’s lifespan. This includes making choices regarding how frequently you create posts and how formal you allow your writing to be in those said posts.
It will also dictate how many links you include, what images are right for your audience, and what type of content you think will receive more impressions and interactions. Your audience will dictate how serious or light-hearted your content can be on the social media sites too.
Hold back the content
Another thing that social media marketing brings with it is pre-planned posts. This is so you can have stuff ready for a specific date or time and not have to worry about getting the right stuff together in the final moments. These kinds of posts are often saved as drafts and can therefore occasionally accidentally find their way out earlier than they’re wanted.
This is usually a downfall of larger companies because if they have a new offer or promotion, that information going out to their audience early can have disastrous effects on them and even end up hindering sales, as people know something new is on the way. Of course these so-called accidents aren’t always a mistake and can be published purposely in an attempt to gain or rebuild a certain level of hype of excitement surrounding a business.
The plus side
Of course there are some advantages to using social media when running a business. As this article has already stated, huge companies are wise to use social media to build upon their already-established branding. They can also use it to track the public perception of their product development, hone in on their target market, and keep track of how consumer trends differ when selling products in different ways.
Other positives can also be found and Hoot Suite has listed them for all to view:
- Increase brand awareness – Nearly half the world’s population are on social media so it is a natural way to allow more people to discover your brand and interact with it.
- Humanise your brand – Using social media to connect with customers can be a great way of getting closer to your consumers and finding out more information on how they use your products and services. This also allows you to conduct marketing research on how people enjoy interacting with your business.
- Establish your brand as a thought leader – No matter what industry your business is in, social media offers the opportunity to establish your brand as a thought leader and the go-to source for information on topics related to your niche.
- Stay top of mind – Most social media users log into their accounts at least once per day, according to Pew Research Centre, and many people are checking social multiple times per day. Social media gives you to the opportunity to connect with fans and followers every time they log in. Keep your social posts entertaining and informative, and your followers will be glad to see your new content in their feeds, keeping you top of mind so you’re their first stop when they’re ready to make a purchase.
- Increase website traffic – Social media posts and ads are key ways to drive traffic to your website. Sharing great content from your blog or website to your social channels is a great way to get readers as soon as you publish a new post.
The size of your business very much depends on whether social media marketing will be right for you or not, if you’re a smaller company you should analyse if it’s going to be worth the time and effort you’ll have to put in each day. If you fail to create a strong brand on social media, people won’t interact with you, so it’s got to be more than just a few Facebook ads. Take the time to asses your own businesses situation and move forward from that position. This is why creating a business plan is essential to longevity and success.
If your business needs a cash boost to get it to the next step, you should consider applying for a merchant cash advance from PDQ Funding. Visit the website today and fill out one of our application forms to see if your company qualifies.