Investing in social media can seem like a daunting, complicated business. And if you’re a business owner that is used to engaging with your customers in more traditional ways, setting up an effective digital media presence can feel like operating on a different planet!
We’re here to tell you that the aim of social media advertising isn’t to take away from the magic of face-to-face, but to supercharge your business and even future-proof it as we move towards a 5G, ever-connected world.
Social & digital usage has sky-rocketed in Ireland over the past 10 years, with 98% of the Irish population online in some shape or form. When we look further into these stats, you’ll see that 89% of these users are on a social media network. And we live in an age of multi-networkers, with users taking up different personas across the multiple channels. In fact, the average social media user in Ireland has 7 different social media channels! ( This could be a personal Facebook page, a professional LinkedIn page, etc.).
Google was announced as the most visited site in the world this year, followed closely by Facebook, then Youtube. And within Google, Facebook is the most searched term in the world!
With so many people engaging with these different channels, there are endless opportunities for you & your business to open up new revenue opportunities. So here are some awesome ways digital & social media can jet propel your business into the future:
- It helps you reach new people
With so many people looking to social media channels for the latest news on what’s happening, it’s natural that businesses should meet them in the middle and make that all-important connection.
Without a social or digital presence, your business is relying on footfall and word of mouth advertising. While this has been known to help businesses thrive (especially in Ireland!) adding social and digital advertising to the mix allows you to reach beyond your locality.
You can do this through both organic and paid social tactics. By posting the right message aimed at people that you know will like your brand, you’re opening up an incredibly powerful avenue to drive new business.
All of the major social networks have sophisticated tools that will help you build ‘personas’ of your ideal customer. Are they male/female? What age group do they fall into? What are they interested in, and where are they based? Combining these elements into targeting packs can help you direct your message to the right people. And once you know you’ve reached the right people, we can build out similar audiences based on these characteristics. Magic!
- It lets you tell your story
From stunning product shots to immersive video, social media can help you tell your story in more depth than any other platform. Think of it as your second shop window, where you can highlight key products, events and the amazing elements that make your business stand out. Customers love to get a feel for what businesses are about, so make sure to be as open and honest about yourself and your brand as you can be.
- People use social media for product consideration
Research into Irish consumer behaviour by Nielson has shown that users tend to look up companies online & on social media before choosing whether they should purchase from them. They’ll check out your follower count, what your products look like, and what other people are saying about you. They’ll also ask their mates – 90% of purchase decisions come from peer reviews.
Your customers are watching, so make sure to put your best foot forward.
- It increases traffic to your website … and drives sales!
Social media channels work as amazing traffic drivers to your website. A good mix of organic and paid social tactics can help gather up the right people that you’re trying to reach, tell them your product story, and then drive them to your website to sale.
Beyond driving traffic directly from your channels, it will also help to improve your ranking on the all-important Google search ranking. SEO can be tough to master, so something as simple as investing in social media can supercharge your website too!
If you’re seeing less-than impressive traffic stats on your beautiful website, social media could be the key to driving online sales for your business.
- It allows you to learn more about your customers and products
Like it or not, people are going to review your business online, and social media can allow you the opportunity to control these conversations & use them to your advantage.
Lots of our clients have been nervous about opening themselves up to the potential of negative reviews, but we would see this as a huge opportunity to gain insight into what your customers like about your brand, and what might need some work.
So if you do receive negative feedback, thank the customer for their honesty, and have open & honest conversations with them about their feelings towards your brand. This feedback can be so helpful for reaching product perfection!
- It helps drive loyalty
Just as customers like to see the doors open in your physical shop, they also like to see that you have an open-door policy online.
Customers love to see regular updates, proactive responses to customer questions, and cool, interesting content that shows that you are on top of your game! So use these valuable channels to position your brand as a market leader.
- It’s an excellent customer service channel
In the past two years, users have become accustomed to using Twitter & Facebook Messenger as a customer service channel, just as they’d pick up the phone and call you to ask about your products or make appointments.
With so many users expecting this service it’s really important to be prepared to answer online questions. Social media users love seeing companies that are responsive to their questions & it can make the decision between a purchase or not. This is a huge opportunity to win hearts & minds at the online point of sale!
- It’s affordable…
The cost of running social media channels can be as expensive or as inexpensive as your business can afford. Depending on your requirements, most social media packages can scale according to your needs. The most important thing is to get started on it and get learning about what works & what doesn’t for you.
- It’s possible to prove your Return on Investment
As small business owners, we get it. You want to see how every cent you put into your business is working to benefit your bottom line. And this is something we’re super passionate about in Soapbox. Whether you want to fill seats at your restaurant, sell tickets to your event, or shift your online product, we have the specialists on standby, ready to help you & your business!
The truth is, if you’re not on social media, it’s likely your competitors are – and they’re reaching your potential customers, gaining influence in your field and ultimately mopping up the business around you. Make sure to engage with these platforms as we move forward into a digital age! So what are you waiting for? Let us help you open up this amazing new opportunity to propel your business forward. Feel free to contact below for further info.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Orlagh is the Marketing Director of Soapbox with a background in social and digital marketing for some of the biggest brands in Ireland. She’s passionate about all things digital & social, especially when they help Irish businesses thrive.