Anyone who owns or manages a business will have heard and understood the saying ‘you have to spend money to make money.’ While this is true for many business functions, it doesn’t always ring true when it comes to marketing. Yes, you just read that correctly – a solid marketing plan doesn’t need to be expensive!
Today’s ever-changing world of accessible technology and readily available tools like social media or digital advertising platforms has caused a large industry paradigm shift towards spending less to make more. And to be honest, this is a win for all businesses, large and small.
Those involved directly in the marketing industry work tirelessly to move the needle on what often seems like a laundry list of metrics to try and distinguish what’s working. Ultimately, our aim is to increase the bottom line and we’re always hoping we’ll find that silver bullet to cut through. We look at measures like website visits, conversation rates, leads per channel and click-through rates to try and make informed decisions, but so often we see companies ignoring or misunderstanding the power of social media. We’re halfway through 2018 and it’s about time business leaders properly understand its true value.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a company who isn’t on social media in some form, but there’s just so many out there who fall by the wayside and give up all together. Why? They don’t do it well because they lack a clear strategy. An approach to social media cannot ever be ad-hoc and reactive. You must have a proactive plan in place, offering relevant content to a targeted audience who are interested in what you have to say.
The paradigm shift has meant we’re rapidly replacing traditional marketing channels like TV and radio with a solid social media strategy which costs far less, enabling us to really engage with potential customers while also tapping in and listening to them. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn provide companies with the opportunity to start two-way conversations and truly discover exactly what their customers want and how to give it to them. You can see in real-time the reach, who’s reading what, how often it’s being shared and also what they’re looking for. That sounds like a silver bullet!
Becoming active on social media costs very little – while you may pay for your time for yourself or a third-party to build and implement a strategy, using the channel itself is free. All channels, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or another, are available and accessible 24 hours a day, so you can talk to an audience when it suits them. Not only this, but you’re offered unlimited reach and if you give the audience what they want to hear, they’ll let others know about it. Referrals are a powerful converter and if you offer useful content, readers will share it at no cost to you.
We see many companies simply publishing the occasional post or answering customer queries randomly, but the jewel is found by those who are savvier and understand the importance of building a long-term engagement strategy.
As made4media’s fearless leader Bec Pini suitably puts it:
“It’s much like planning a big event, you wouldn’t go and buy decorations, food and drinks without knowing the style and theme, the location and who you’ll invite. Using social media means you have to have a plan first, before you dive in and start making decisions.”
If you’re not on social media, using it strategically and taking advantage of what it can offer your business, then you’re missing out on a quick, inexpensive and powerful way to reach basically anyone you want to at a time that suits them.
Ready for social media success? Start by reading about how to design an effective social media strategy here and download our top 15 tips for social media success by clicking the button below!