Should You Use Social Media For Your Business?
I find it astounding how often I get asked, “Should I use social media for my business?” What’s surprising isn’t the fact that the person asking is not yet using it, after all, social media is still very new and it take time for organizations to figure out how to best make use of these tools. But it is a wonder that so many people don’t know whether they should be using it at all.
Of course you should! If you want to form deeper connections with your customers, then yes you should use social media. If you want to better service your customers, then yes you should use social media. If you’d like to generate brand and product awareness, you should definitely use social media. And if you want to find new channels for sales, then yes you should use social media. Most simply, social media is just another communications platform like email or the phone and can be used to better communicate with customers, potential customers, staff and other stakeholders. Why wouldn’t you want to communicate better with these important groups?
All new technologies cause this type of unease… How do I use it, how should I use it, and how can I use it effectively? While it’s sometimes easier to take a back seat approach and let others blaze the trail, often those trail blazers are the ones who strike gold. Social media use inevitable for businesses; the question is how late you’ll get on board. I imagine that when the telephone first became widely available, some people probably thought it wasn’t something that was necessary for their business. But can you imagine not having a phone today? The same will be true of social media. We’re still in the early stages, but eventually it’ll be seen as a ubiquitous and essential communications platform.
Another fallacy is that social media is a fad or that it is something that “my customers don’t use”. In reality, social media usage has grown steadily across all demographics. A recent study has shown that the highest number of people using social media fall in the 35 to 44 age group, followed by the 45 to 54 age group and the 25 to 34 age group. This isn’t just something for kids anymore!
So, my advice is to start using social media for your business as soon as you can. If you’re not ready to jump into the deep end yet, start off by using some of the tools personally, finding and monitoring the conversations about your business and your competition online and see what customers are saying. Once you’re comfortable, get involved! You won’t regret it.